Almost there: Nigerian inventor seeks to light up Africa for longer–from lightning

In Innovation, Inspiration

A promising Nigerian scientist is working determinedly and optimistically to end power shortage in Africa, and that once and for all.

Since 2006,  Emmanuel Imafidon, a graduate of Electrical Engineering from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) in Enugu has since been working on a means to generate constant power from lightning.

All that while, he has been researching on how a single strike of lightning  can generate power that can serve Nigeria and Africa for as long as it takes, as he puts it: “That means that whenever thunder strike for once, we are sure of uninterrupted power for five years and thirty days.”

It is possible

“One may think it is not possible and if it is possible why the western world has not converted lightning to electricity, but what I have developed so far is a prototype.”

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In the eye-catching device, Emmanuel says there are not more than five chambers including the trapping zone which is made of a lightning arrestor.

Then there is the storage zone and the conversion zone, which converts static energy into current electricity and transmit the energy into the transmission zone. The transmission zones will first of all step down the power from as high as five megavolts and there are five storage zones that have the capacity of storing over 25 mega volts of power.

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Voltage regulation

When it stores the 25 MV of power, the conversion zone takes one megavolt at a time, sends signals to other sensory zones which shut down other sensory zones from discharging at the same time. Then the transmission zone of the power generating plant will step down the megavolt to whatever Nigerians need.

“For instance, Nigeria is generating 330,000 megavolts, but my device generates 5 million volts and then gives Nigerians their 330 KV and still have about 4670, 000 megavolts left as reserve.”

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Better option

So it can be seen that there is a huge discrepancy between lightning energy and hydroelectricity which the country relies on.

Let’s hope and hope hard that Emmanuel hits at the solution sooner rather than later. The potential is higher, the need is greater,

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