Overview

The residents of Makers Valley use energy for many domestic activities including cooking, lighting, heating, cooling and powering various appliances like washing machines, fridges and televisions. Energy provision is also important in driving industrial and economic activities in the area.

City Power maintain and operate the electricity network in Johannesburg and most households and businesses are connected to the national grid supply. Prior to 1990, less than a third of the South African population had access to electricity. It has risen from 58% in 1996, to over 90% access today. People can be connected to the gas network, operated by Egoli Gas. Johannesburg’s natural gas comes from Mozambique.

Student teams from across the UK and Ireland created design solutions to address a challenge being faced in Makers Valley. Explore the submissions below and cast your vote for the People’s Prize

UK2020-087 University of East London
UK2020-100 Ulster University
UK 2020-109 Manchester Metropolitan University
UK 2020-114 London South Bank University
UK2020-118 Birmingham City University
UK2020-126 University of Sheffield
UK 2020-128 Birmingham City University
UK2020-142 University of Sussex
UK 2020-163 University of Greenwich

UK2020-087 University of East London

Solar Panel Farm

We produced a detailed design proposal for a solar panel farm. We decided this option due to the rolling blackouts and lack of consistent energy supply. Our idea consists of purchasing a plot of land, constructing and installing the PV cells and distribution. Once the farm is constructed, we will employ the local community in a variety of jobs including maintenance, administration and security.

UK2020-100 Ulster University

TheromoElectric Gills (T.E.Gills)

The problem we found was an irregular power supply to Makers Valley and we noted that there was a heat surplus in the annealing oven which could be harnessed. Our solution involves capturing this heat and using this to turn a simple steam turbine providing additional electricity to the facility. The future potential includes the ability to supply other businesses, like Impi Brewery and Primal Spirits, with the residual hot water to reduce their production costs and energy consumption.

UK 2020-109 Manchester Metropolitan University

Anaerobic Digestor

The system was designed to utilise unused waste from the brewery, process it through an anaerobic digester to produce Biogas to be used within the community for cooking gas. This would utilise the harmful greenhouse gas Methane which would have been released into the atmosphere during natural decomposition on a landfill site.
This would, in turn, create jobs for the local community to maintain and operate the system.

UK 2020-114 London South Bank University

Low-cost, lightweight and fish-friendly hydroelectric turbines

The chosen design solution is a small, waterborne hydroelectric turbine that could potentially be manufactured from waste plastics produced in Makers Valley. The turbine would be located in the Jukskei River which runs through the length of Makers Valley, using an anchor and a floatation device. The turbine would be lightweight enough such that many could be produced and situated along the river, producing more energy than a single turbine could. The turbine would be housed in a lightweight plastic cage, to protect fish from the rotating blades, without compromising their rotational velocity.

UK2020-118 Birmingham City University

Impi Brewery DIY Solar Heater

The DIY Solar Water Heater will aim to reduce the amount of energy used from the municipal grid by the brewery when heating water, whilst decreasing the impact on production during common power outages and rolling blackouts. It will do this by continually circulating water from storage through the heater in order to raise its temperature. This will benefit both the Brewery by reducing its energy costs and demands, while easing the strain on the municipal grid of the area.

UK2020-126 University of Sheffield

The Anaerobic Digestion of Waste

The people of Makers Valley suffer from electrical blackouts that prevent them using the basic, necessary appliances a household needs, like refrigerators to prevent food diseases. This heavily affects their quality of life and limits their employability by not having secure access to technology which prevents their progression. There’s also an issue of improper organic waste disposal and overflowing sewers that poses a massive, serious health risk to the residents. Our design recycles this organic and faecal waste via anaerobic digestion. This generates a backup supply of electricity during blackouts to eliminate them completely and allow the community to thrive.

UK 2020-128 Birmingham City University

Solar water heating system

The majority of locals in Maker’s Valley heat water using gas canisters or spend lots of money on water heaters that use up lots of energy. These gas canisters are a non-renewable method of heating water and are used up very quickly. Also energy in Maker’s Valley is considered to be very expensive so by creating a system that heats water using a minimal amount of energy whilst remaining sustainable and renewable would be a significant financial benefit for the locals as they would not have to spend much money on electricity nor for buying gas canisters.

UK2020-142 University of Sussex

Solarcycle Water Heater

The problem that we are addressing is that a lot of the electricity used in households goes on heating water, where it would be better used elsewhere. Hence we came up with a water heating solar panel which will take the strain off of heating water using electricity. Our idea uses fully recyclable materials in order to make a solar powered water heater. We will be able to run workshops in which we teach people how to make them and so this will benefit the community.

UK 2020-163 University of Greenwich

Makers Valley Energy Access Solution

Based on the compact Solar Water Heater. The equipment has a solar water heater connected to a thermal tank which then provides hot water for the use of showers or other household needs. Since the aluminium costs, £6.17 per kg and the total collector weight for the system is 47.5kgs, we have a total of £293.1 to build the system with aluminium. Since the solar panels can be made at home for just over £13 and the other elements such as the water tank would only require a small amount aluminium, this reduces the total cost by roughly 57%.