THE PROBLEM: Due to loadshedding people do not have access to electricity. Students struggle to study during these times without lighting. Many students also have to walk a long way to get home from school.
THE INSIGHT: What if the students could generate electricity on their walk home to use for lighting during load shedding?
THE CHALLENGE: Create a device that can generate and store charge whilst walking.
THE SOLUTION: First attempt: a shoe that generates charge using a piezoelectric disc on the sole of the shoe. The first attempt failed due to a lack of access to high quality piezoelectric discs.
Second attempt: a cap with an in-build solar panel on the rim of the cap and a battery pack with a USB outlet. The cap can be worn on the walk home when weather permits and charge the batteries to be used as a power source for electronics, including LED lights. The solar powered cap has the advantage of being able to charge electronics as you walk.
THE IMPACT: Students will have a low-cost clean source of energy at the ready when they are walking home or have loadshedding. This will allow them to charge their cellphones on the way home and have light to study at night.
ACHIEVEMENTS: Winner of Most Innovative prize, 2015.