Hannah Herbst wins $25,000 for her Ingenious Design
Hannah has designed a way to deliver cheap renewable energy to the world. The device costs around $12.00 (Approx £8.00) to build and is made from recyclable materials. The award gives Hannah the title of Americas Top Young Scientist. She designed the probe to generate power and deliver fresh water in developing countries. Inspiration can come from many places and imagining what life would be like without electricity drove her on. Her friend who lives in Ethiopia experiences this on a daily basis so Hannah developed a product that could help her and many others.
Check out the rest of the post to see what and how she developed this:
Herbst’s energy probe is made of recycled materials and costs just $12.
It consists of a 3D-printed propeller, connected by a pulley inside a plastic PVC pipe to a hydroelectric generator, which converts the mechanical movement of ocean currents to usable electricity. She tested her device in the Boca Raton Intracoastal Waterway, where the current coming in from the Altantic Ocean produces a large amount of untapped energy.
Using her device, she was able to power a set of LED lights.
She calculated that if her design were scaled up, she could generate enough electricity to charge three car batteries at once in less than an hour. That’s enough energy to power saltwater desalinization pumps to provide a source of fresh water for developing countries. It could also power blood centrifuges for medical use, or coastal beacons for ship navigation.
Herbst was one of nine finalists.
Over the past three months, each of them was paired with a 3M scientist as part of a summer mentoring program to take their inventions from design to prototype.
Herbst worked with 3M corporate scientist Jeffrey Emslander, whose research has helped the company reduce its emissions and produce its products using less energy.
Hannah plans to donate some of her winnings to her Ethiopian pen pal, and a new building at her school. The rest will go into her college fund, she said.
She also plans to keep working with her 3M mentor to improve her ocean energy device, and eventually deploy it in developing countries.
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