Wind Turbine from Scrap for under £20: Student Hopes to Power the World's Poor

Wind turbine designed from scrap materials by University of Portsmouth student Max Robson photo

Cheap Do-it-yourself Wind Turbine
Have you been putting off your dream of building a gadget that will change the world? Max Robson's father knows how you feel. Ashley Robson seeded the desire to design a cheap, sustainable energy source. Now his son has made the dream reality.

Max Robson's prototype wind turbine cost him only £20 (US$37) to build, using rubbish he collected from skips (or dumpsters, as they are called in the former colonies). The do-it-yourself turbine reportedly includes a bike frame and bearings, a Vespa magneto and a Ford Fiesta battery. Max claims unskilled workers in developing countries could build the turbines for less than it cost him, although one must ask how many Vespa magnetos and auto batteries are lying around in the skips where cheap wind turbine technology could be really useful.Award Winning Wind Turbine Design
Max's turbine generates 11.3 watts. It is not much power. But, of course, £20 is not much money. It is enough power to get a first class honours degree in product design and modern materials from the Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering and to win the won the Professor G M Bedford Memorial Prize. Too bad we haven't yet designed a technology to harvest the power of good intentions.

Max's Next Steps
Max studied under John Bishop, who was a classmate of Max's Dad a couple decades before, also at the University of Portmouth. Now Max has been accepted into the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship 'Flying Start' scheme. Hopefully his big heart and can-do attitude will make a difference in the world.

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