Meet Gilmartin. John Gilmartin. He’s an electrician. Though, he has never had the “taste” of electricity in his own home. He never had a TV. Nor did he live in an electrified house. That’s spooky, you may say, but mr. John Gilmartin, Scottish inventor, has found out a way to harness the free electricity from his backyard water stream near Staveley, in Cumbria, by using used yoghurt pots and with the help of PhD engineering student Mr Cattley, now hopes to see the invention in the shops by the end of 2008.
Do you think I’m kidding? No, I’m not. Born and raised in the village of Springfield, near Cupar, Fife, he was not prompted to think up his device by high energy bill.
The water wheel produces one to two kilowatts of power and generates at least 24 kilowatt hours of sustainable green energy in a day, just less than the average household’s daily consumption of around 28 kilowatt hours. It should cost around £2000 to install, and will pay for itself inside two years.
Mr. Gilmartin states that he came up with the idea when he quit working to look after his epileptic son, and saw no other source of electricity in their neiborghood: “There was nothing available on the market to recover any sensible amount of energy from low (pressure) heads, so in wanting something to think about at the time, I thought of the idea of having revolving buckets to recover energy.”
He even made up a company to sell his products, Beck Mickle Hydro Ltd. That’s a nice way to get around with free electricity (of course, only if you happen to have a spring flowing in the back of your house).