Capture Mobility

Background

Capture Mobility aims to be one of the leading companies in developing innovative renewable energy products. The technology start-up developed a hybrid micro roadside wind turbine designed to, not only generate electricity from the turbulence of passing traffic, but also to filter particulates from the atmosphere, helping reduce air pollution. The turbine is topped with solar panels that add to the power generated by the system.

Electricity produced by the turbine would be used to supply energy for different innovative community projects i.e. street lights, mobile charging units and emergency roadside electric car charging stations.

Based at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Capture Mobility’s award-winning micro-turbine is the brainchild of founder and chief executive Sanwal Muneer.  The racetrack provided the inspiration for electrical engineer Sanwal to develop his concept. “In 2012, I was part of a team in Malaysia involved in the Shell Eco-marathon. We were focused on maximising energy usage in an electric race car. That gave me the idea of harvesting waste energy (the air turbulence) from existing traffic.”

 

Challenge

The company contacted Interface as, having successfully developed their prototype in Pakistan, they were seeking university support to make their module more efficient for the UK environment.  Specifically, they were looking to enhance the efficiency of the turbine and the carbon filtration methods with the following objectives:

1) To identify the material that could be integrated with the turbine to capture the carbon particles from the air effectively.

2) To identify key possible methods to remove pollutants from the environment with turbine movement.

3) To increase the efficiency of the wind turbine.

 

Solution

Interface successfully matched the company with Dr Waheed Afzal, from the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen.  This project was funded by a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher.

 “I am so amazed by the effectiveness of Interface for the connections in different universities", said Sanwal.

Benefits

The project enabled Capture Mobility to identify the means of combating air pollution, whilst also identifying ways of increasing turbine energy efficiency.

 “The report from the University clearly helped us to identify the efficiency of the turbine and key aspects to improve it. The level of guidance and support from the University of Aberdeen was outstanding and the resultant reports covered all the required aspects. Their expertise also helped us to look into the feasible ways to capture the carbon particles and, moving forward, we hope to work with the university again to develop tangible results in lab testing for the carbon capturing project”, said Sanwal Muneer, Capture Mobility.

“The Innovation Voucher is an excellent scheme that promotes entrepreneurship and links academics with SMEs to create rapid industrial impact. With the financial support under this scheme, the University of Aberdeen team consisting of myself and Dr Khaled Ahmed developed industrial linkage with Capture Mobility. We tested their innovative machine designed to harvest energy from road-side turbulent air. The University team suggested including a carbon-capture module to the original machine that will help to make our air clean. The proposed alteration in the design of the machine will increase its efficiency.  The project was very exciting to work on and we are really looking forward to taking our collaboration to the next level”, said  Dr Waheed Afzal, University of Aberdeen

 

Follow-On Activity

Having successfully completed trials of the technology, in conjunction with Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council, plans are in place to extend trials on the Forth Road Bridge, delivering sustainable energy for bridge lighting.

With nearly two billion cars on the world’s roads today, Capture Mobility has the potential to recast a known key polluter – traffic – as an energy source.

The turbines have already attracted interest from overseas markets, including France, China, Brazil and Chile.

Capture Mobility is also in discussions with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Forestry Commission Scotland to explore the potential for installing turbines in remote locations, providing unobtrusive mobile phone charging stations as well as supplying electric car charging points with 100% green energy.

Capture Mobility is one of only six companies selected for energy giant Shell’s global Make the Future programme – an initiative to deliver off-grid energy to remote locations around the world.

 

http://www.shell.com/inside-energy/turbine-turns-traffic-into-energy.html

http://www.investinedinburgh.com/invest-magazine/