It all started with a self-winding watch. Back in 2012 engineer Martin Wickett was playing with his watch, which he knew harvested energy from moving his wrist up and down or left and right, and got to thinking that there must be a way to improve it; that it should be able to harvest energy in all degrees of motion, including clockwise and anti-clockwise.
“The WITT absorbs up to 100% more energy compared to other devices”
In his workshop Martin came up with a 3D pendulum system that could do just that, and soon realised that this would work in many more applications than just watches. His clever system of transferring energy generated by any movement into a single unidirectional rotation of a flywheel, meant it could generate energy in any situation where natural movement occurs, from animals to boats and trains.
Any which way: The WITT can capture energy
from movements in any of these directions
Named the Witt (pictured right), his energy harvester has big implications for renewable energy, as no other energy harvesting system can capture this full spectrum – thus the WITT absorbs up to 100% more energy compared to other devices.
“The WITT is the most exciting development in renewable energy since the solar panel and is a truly ground breaking development”
Since then, Plymouth-based WITT Ltd has been going from strength to strength, and as the WITT is so scalable the device could provide free energy in many different scenarios – miniature WITTs could recharge mobile phones whilst on the move, while large-scale WITTs could generate grid scale ocean power. As Chairman Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent explains “The WITT is the most exciting development in renewable energy since the solar panel and is a truly ground-breaking development.”
WITT on Crowdcube
It’s not just the WITT team that are excited by the tech though, the team launched a campaign to bring the WITT to market on Crowdcube on the 7 March, and WITT Energy has raised over £1million in less than 3 weeks! You can still get involved though, as it is currently overfunding.
With the money raised they plan to produce a marine application first (for boats, buoys and anything floating on the sea where power is required) and then a WITT backpack (which could provide 10W of power for people on the move) and a Micro-witt to provide back-up power for tablets and phones.
WITT in action
We met up with the WITT Energy team at the Bristol and Bath Science Park yesterday, where we got to play with the prototypes and learnt that Science Park residents additive-manufacturing experts HiETA are helping with designs to take the device to the next stage.
Explaining the WITT: WITT creator Martin Wickett explains how
it works at an investor event at the Bristol and Bath Science Park
Below you can see Martin generating the electricity to power a light by moving the WITT around:
— TechSPARK (@TechSPARKuk) March 22, 2016
You can see more at the WITT Crowdcube campaign and the WITT Energy website. You can also follow them on Twitter here: @WITTEnergy.