The dearth of infrastructure is one of Nigeria’s fundamental challenges when it comes to development, with power arguably the most basic of all. Over the years successive governments have seemed unable to find a solution to the protracted deteriorating trend in the sector as many parts of the country witness power outage and blackout on a daily basis.
To this end, business people have to depend on private power sources mostly in the form of generators to have their busineses running, as public power supply is not dependable. Selling generators is one big business in Nigeria with the bulk of them being shipped in from Asian countries.
However, one Nigerian has begun a revolutionary innovation that could probably reverse the trend and see the products exported to other parts of Africa and the world.
Nelson Emeka has taken up the task of inventing a generator which uses water as fuel, capable of solving the challenge.
26-year-old Nelson Emeka resides in Awka, the capital city of Anambra State, South-Eastern Nigeria. Born under a tree in the village, he started working as a house help at the tender age of 5. Contrary to what many might think, he has no formal training in Engineering and even struggled to read during elementary education.
However, Emeka is an exceptional talent and has a drive and vision of improving the standard of living in his society. Despite the fact that he is not trained as an engineer yet, he has a small office space in his house with structural drawings and designs on the walls, reflecting his innovations. In 2018, he came in second in the Anambra State Talent Exhibition Program with his mini hydropower project.
Motivated by the death of his friend from fuel fume poisoning, Emeka set out to invent a generator that does not require fuel to operate but runs on water. For sixteen years, he has been working on the project with materials gotten from junkyards. However, Emeka’s first prototype for the project exploded, which cast great doubt on the possibility of achieving his dream. Nonetheless, he did not give up and continued on his quest to honour he memory of his lost friend. One night in Emeka’s laboratory, he got it right and his generator finally worked after several years of hard work.
Emeka’s generator has a maximum output capacity of 1000 watts with voltage fluctuating at 220 and 240. With a clean litre of water powering it, the invention can run for six hours with zero emission which makes it environment-friendly, unlike fuel-powered generators the harmful emissions. This project could gain the inventor global recognition in a world seeking solutions to issues related to the threat to climate change.
What Nelson has been able to do is to use the normal water inside a simple tank, using a DC generator to pressurize the water enough to be able to drive the turbine. He drives that turbine at 860 RPM, that for me is a big deal.