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African Ingenuity

Nigerian High School Graduate Manufactures Generator. Here Is What’s Really Cool About It

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Emeka Nelson builds a generator that runs on water

An erratic power supply is one of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria. Consequently, this has made many people to rely on generators to complement the shortfall. However, apart from causing severe environmental pollution, many people have lost their lives to generator fumes. Inspired by the death of his friend from generator fumes, Emeka Nelson, a high school graduate has invented an eco-friendly generator that runs on water.

Emeka Nelson is not a certified engineer. In fact, he was born under a tree in a village in southeastern Nigeria. At age 5, he worked as a house help to make ends meet. His invention is already attracting attention from the government. Surprised about the success of his project, the 26-year-old inventor said,

“I couldn’t even believe myself. Honestly, up until today, I’m still wondering actually if I did this. I just believe inside of me that this is possible. I can get it done. I’m almost there. That’s what has kept me going.”

What we know so far about the hydro-powered generator

His workshop looks like a scrapyard because his raw materials are actually recovered junks. For 16 years, he has been working on several inventions. However, he considers the hydro-powered generator as his greatest invention. It was not all success along the way. His first prototype exploded during a test-run.

One liter of clean water can power the generator for 6 hours. The maximum capacity of the generator is 1000 watts and its output voltage fluctuates between 220 and 240. According to Emeka Nelson, the generator can power any appliance that falls within the 1000 watts capacity. After working for 6 hours, the generator needs to be powered down to cool off. This might seem like a shortfall but Oloyede Olaosegba, a Renewable Energy Expert said,

“It is not about a structural defect or an error in the concept. However, it might be because of the nature of the components which of course can be improved upon.”

Previous projects by Emeka Nelson

Inasmuch as the hydro-powered generator is getting a lot of attention, Emeka Nelson has other innovative inventions. In 2018, he came second in the Anambra State talent exhibition program for his mini-hydropower project. The young inventor also has “a machine that transforms hydrocarbon related wastes like plastic, nylon and so on into petrol, diesel, roofing sheets, etc.”

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