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Working hard consistently to achieve his goals in life and academically has always been the motto for the dynamic, Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Masters student Sameer Khan. He is currently, pursuing his Master’s in Applied Science: Biotechnology.

Besides dedicating his time to researching Consortia of Cyanobacteria and green microalgae, the enigmatic Khan loves entering competitions where he can challenge himself and also showcase his exciting, renewable source of energy innovation. One such platform he is aiming to be noticed is the South African Innovation Summit which is one of Africa’s biggest start-up event. This year the event will be going online across the country and continent to find the most amazing tech and tech-abled start-ups that are solving Africa’s problems.

Currently the competition has various categories and is run in two parts. The first being the actual investment competition and the inventors garage competition which is being held on Facebook. The winner of the Inventors Garage Facebook competition will win a trip to Cape Town and a R 5000 cash prize. The actual competition is also for investment from the summit itself.

“The highlight of the South African Innovation Summit is that it allows innovators, inventors, and unique thinkers to showcase their innovative talent. The Inventors Garage online competition is an opportunity for entrepreneurs with a working prototype or product from a proven concept to pre-commercialisation to gain access to funding or incubation, market exposure, and business support.

Finalists will be awarded an opportunity to exhibit their invention, prototype or design at the virtual edition of the South African Innovation Summit 2020 which takes place from 29 September 2020 to 1 October 2020,” said Khan.

He is most excited to share his invention called the Hydra Gen which is aimed to reduce the impact of load-shedding. He said that the Hydra Gen is a generator designed and developed by hydra power.

“The idea started in a lecture in 2014. I saw a pigeon fly up to the window and had a drink of water, I wondered where the water came from as it did not rain nor was there any form of window washing done. After further investigation I noticed that it was the building itself that was emitting water,” he said.

Khan said that after five years of trial and error he came up with a unique catchment and release system to harvest and store the water and then to release the water to pass a turbine.

“This in return charges the lithium ion batteries and from our calculations the system can power up 10-watt Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) for 6hrs+. This in turn allows for a series of LEDs to be implemented in buildings,” he said.

Khan indicated that the system can be used in middle and high income residential properties as well as commercial and industrial buildings.

“This system was designed to help alleviate the symptoms of load-shedding and it is an alternative to candles and torches. We currently own a complete patent on our designs, calculations and processes which is also covered under the Paris Convention. Presently the world is moving to more environmentally sound energy processing methods. The Hydra Gen generator is renewable and it is an efficient energy system,” he said.

Khan added that many people are making more sustainable choices and are taking into consideration the environment before implementing new forms of energy harvesting.

For Khan, Biotechnology has not always been his choice of study. He has a diploma and degree in Horticulture. The reason he opted into Biotechnology was due to the Horticulture department not having a Master’s programme.

Khan said that he has entered multiple competitions and has won the Innovation of the Year award 2019/2020 from DUT. His most notable accolade was winning a trip to Ireland in May 2019 and a trip to Denmark in October 2019. “On these trips I have received interested investors to invest in the business and designs. One of those competitions were the C40 World Mayors Summit. I have also made it to the finals of the South African and Australian energy competition,” he said proudly.

To vote for Khan, please like and share the following link:

Or alternatively go to the South African Innovation Summit Facebook page and like and share the Hydra Gen Energy generation system, with the Inventors name as Sameer Khan.

Pictured: Sameer Khan

Pictured: His invention called the Hydra Gen Energy generation system.

Waheeda Peters

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