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Student inventor creates £20 wind turbine out of scrap for developing world

Posted on 9:11 PM by Sameer Shah

A student has built a wind turbine from scrap to help people in the developing world.

Max Robson, 22, constructed a prototype using rubbish collected from skips, tips and bins including an old bike frame and wheel bearings, the magneto from a Vespa, a battery from a Ford Fiesta and bits of wood.

It is so simple, he says, it can be built by unskilled workers in less than a day anywhere in the world.




His turbine works by converting the energy in wind into electrical energy stored in a battery. It produces an output of 11.3 watts, which is enough electricity to run lighting for 63 hours or a radio for 30 hours.

The product design student from Greenwich has just received a first class honours degree from the University of Portsmouth. He said he had always been interested in gadgets and machines and was inspired by his father Ashley's enthusiasm.



'My dad wanted to do something like this but I beat him to it,' said Mr Robson.

'He had the idea of designing a scrap wind turbine but it was my idea to use it in the developing world. I wanted to build something worthwhile and I am interested in design being environmentally friendly.'

'This isn't going to change lives in the developing world dramatically but a device like this could make their lives a lot easier,' he said.

'It cost me £20 to build the prototype and in the developing world it would be a lot less. The nearest alternative wind turbine on the market costs £2,000.'

Ashley Robson, 51, who studied mechanical engineering at the University of Portsmouth, said he was delighted his son was following in his footsteps.

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