Rewiring road pressure into power
An aeroplane touching down on the tarmac means the end of a long flight for some, but for Clement Mokoenene, Engineer and CEO of Vehicle Energy Harvesting Systems, it sparked an idea: Could the energy expended by a moving vehicle be harvested to generate electricity?
Now Mokoenene is hoping that his idea, and the system that he developed to turn the idea into reality, will see him become the winner of the Chivas Venture competition.
As one of the top five finalists, he will stand a chance to win his share of $1 million, and the chance of a lifetime to represent South Africa in Chivas Regal’s Venture 4 finals to be held in 2018.
It all started in 2011 when he saw an A380 Airbus aeroplane land, “The smoke coming out of the plane when it landed was massive, like the runway was on fire,” he said. “That got me thinking about the pressure and heat a plane puts on the runway, and how it could be used.”
Mokoenene thought about ways in which to protect roads from this sort of pressure, and how to harvest this pressure in order to generate electricity.
“An indication of how much pressure the roads are under can be seen in all the potholes on our roads,” he says.
With a Civil Engineering degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, along with 20 years of experience, Mokoenene has created a means by which he can recycle the pressure on roads and turn it into usable and efficient electricity.
The Vehicle Energy Harvesting System works, says Mokoenene, by “installing an overlayer on existing road, extracting the pressure and transferring it to the side of the road, similar to a wind turbine that then creates electricity.’’
The VEHS is able to generate electricity at a much lower, affordable cost than coal-fired power stations which South Africa currently relies on.
Mokoenene says, “Winning the Chivas Venture award would put VEHS on the map. We are currently funded by investors and would like to fund our projects ourselves.”
The Chivas Venture
The Chivas Venture is a global search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed while creating a better future for society. Since the Chivas Venture first launched in 2014, almost 6,000 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund. This year, 29 countries across 5 continents are taking part in the Chivas Venture.
About Chivas Regal
Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal is the world’s first luxury whisky and is considered to be a timeless classic, renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells 4.5 million 9L cases annually in more than 150 countries across the globe. With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, which aims to inspire a new generation whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Chivas Regal range includes: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, Chivas 18, Chivas 25, ultra-prestige blend and pinnacle of the range Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend. Launched in October 2016, Chivas Regal Ultis is the first blended malt Scotch whisky from the House of Chivas and represents the true essence of Chivas Regal.