Solar & Water Energy Harvesting
The client approached Duku after originally undertaking some initial development on an energy harvesting product with another consultancy. Having already begun the process of gaining intellectual property protection and producing an initial prototype our job was to further explore the idea, resolve the issues found and present the idea as it would appear in production. The main output of the process was to refine the design and produce presentation quality documentation in order to gain a licencing agreement with prospective manufacturers.
We began the process by analysing the energy harvesting product and its intended use. This helped us to establish the intended core features of the design, when and where it would be used and resolve issues identified in the initial design and prototype work. The previous development of the product had not taken into account a number of crucial aspects which seriously limited its prospective appeal; in order address these, Duku made a number of design changes which significantly improved both the functionality and versatility of the product. Through a redesign of the solar panel casing we were able to produce a design that could be mounted in both a landscape or portrait orientation. We also developed the product to be modular and inter-connectable. Each Harvester module is able to be sealed to the next, creating a large surface area for water collection. In order to remove the risk of the system being blocked by leaves or other material a lid was developed. This covered the periphery of the casing, allowing water to flow inside whilst filtering any large pieces of material. Taking into account current methods of mounting external solar panels, the design is such that it can be easily attached to either pitched or flat structures using well-known, established methods. Once this design had been fully resolved we began the process of producing the CAD model. This was then used to created photo-realistic renderings of the design for use within the presentation document. These really help to visualise the product and allow us to show the design in context to a high level of detail. The final stage of the process was to create the promotional material. These highlighted the key features of the design clearly, allowing the client to fully explain all of the benefits of the product to any prospective manufacturers.
The Harvester is designed to be used in a wide variety of environments, from pitched or flat roofs to remote locations and areas off the grid. It is then able to supply both clean water and harvested energy to the user, ready to be utilised for an array of different uses from heating to water for irrigation. Duku is working with the client to promote the project and gain a licensing agreement.