Leicester De Montfort University industrial design graduate Tom Broadbent has created an ingenious device that can harvest energy from falling waste water found in the pipes of high-rise buildings. Broadbent’s “HighDro Power” makes this conversion possible by utilizing the same principles as a hydroelectric dam — only smaller. Fitting nicely inside any bathrooms, the HighDro Power transforms the simple act of flushing a toilet into an energy-generating action.

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Tom explains: “HighDro Power works by using the water discharged from appliances such as showers, toilets and sinks in high-rise apartments. The water goes down the pipe and hits four turbine blades that drive one generator.” Tom first started on this invention as an answer to targets set at the G8 Summit by governments to reduce their country’s carbon dioxide emissions and dependency on fossil fuels by 2050. He explains: “The inspiration for HighDro Power was literally a ‘Eureka!’ moment that came when I emptied a bath in a hotel and found that it cleared very quickly and with a large amount of force. It seemed logical that this energy should be harnessed in some way to create green electricity and help governments meet targets and it filled an obvious gap in the market.”

In order to quickly develop a prototype, Tom used techniques such as laser sintering, CNC milling machinery and vacuum forming. Tom is now waiting to find out if he will win recognition from the Dyson Awards and the Institute of Engineering Designers (IED). He is also plans to enter the Kevin McCloud Green Heroes award in order to secure his opportunity to show HighDro Power at the NEC’s Grand Designs Live show.

Via Creative Boom