15-year-old Hannah Herbst recently designed a sustainable device that harvests energy from ocean waves. While many companies are investing in underwater power plants that convert ocean waves into energy, these facilities aren't ideal for communities in developing countries. Herbst's device offer a small-scale alternative for generating renewable energy.
Herbst came up with the idea for a small-scale power pant after corresponding with a pen pal in Ethiopia. She decided to design an inexpensive device that harvests energy from ocean waves. The device features a 3D-printed propeller that is connected to a hydroelectric generator. When waves pass over the propeller, the motion is converted into electricity. While the device does not generate a lot of power, it provides enough energy to run a desalination machine that converts ocean water into clean drinking water.
Herbst's invention demonstrates how communities can harness ocean water as a source of renewable energy.