Could this be the next big thing in green energy? Outwell grandfather is hoping to raise £65,000
- Credit: Archant
A Fenland grandfather is hoping to raise £65,000 to create green energy by tapping into the wind power caused by passing motorists.
He has developed what he hopes could be the next big thing in clean energy after sitting in traffic and realising there was a force of untapped energy coming from cars coming in the opposite direction.
Dallas Twyman, 58, of Outwell said: “Anyone stuck in traffic with vehicles coming the other way will have felt their car shake, so it got me thinking what a great source of untapped energy.
“Next step was working out how to harness it. It is basically a special post at the side of the road to harness the energy and could go on all A and B roads across the country.
“I want my grandchildren to look at the posts at the side of the road harnessing all that green energy and be able to say, my granddad invented that.
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“I don’t want to get rich, I can’t take it with me, and I want to leave a legacy of environmentally friendly energy, because we all know we can’t carry on as things are.”
In simple terms the idea works using a specially designed post placed at intervals along road sides close enough to pick up the energy of passing vehicles.
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As they pass, it moves a section of the post that then taps the couplings, which starts a flywheel moving.
Inside an underground box section of the post is a device, similar to a children’s roundabout that would, with the help of a series of magnets continue turning - this momentum would generate the electricity.
The seed was planted four years ago but Dallas did not have enough time to give it his full attention.
Then two years ago he had to give up work as a grounds man at Downham Market High School after suffering a back injury.
“I’m on disability benefits and didn’t want to wallow in what had happened in a negative way,” he said. “So I started to really think about this idea.”
He came up with a concept and found an Inspire to Enterprise scheme at Northampton University where, with the help of Stefan Kaczmarczyk, a professor of applied mechanics, they proved the wind force from passing vehicles would generate enough energy to create electricity.
“It was done via computer simulation. It’s a very simple idea with a lot of mechanics in the box under ground that’s taken from existing technology,” Dallas said.
“The biggest thing for me on this whole project is giving back to good causes; I want to put money back into social care and social enterprises, community funding, local authorities, so they can give back to people in our communities.
“If I can leave a social legacy that is the most important thing for me with this.”
• Dallas has set up Social Electric Enterprise Ltd and has a Crowdfunding page to raise £65,000 to take the concept to the next stage.
“I would love to go on Dragon’s Den but until I can afford to build the prototype that isn’t going to happen,” he said.