Kendall Kamwendo’s talents know no bounds. He has done it in music. He is a performing artist. He is an inventor. Now, Kendall’s exploits in invention have taken another turn with his generator which he calls Kendalgravitor. ALBERT SHARRA met him to share the story of the generator.
Kendall Kamwendo is a man with many hats. He is a musician, dramatist, dedicated Christian and more.
His music talent, encapsulated by the Nyemba Nyemba hit, has turned him into a household name.
But Kendall’s world does not stop at music and drama—he is also an inventor, albeit one still struggling to get the recognition he believes he deserves.
That is why he is a bitter person. His bitterness stems from what he calls the hypocrisy of the authorities who praise and promote foreign products, but ignore local talent in social innovation.
As if in a bad dream, Kendall saw government ignoring an irrigation pump he invented to promote a treadle pump.
However, despite the setbacks he has faced, Kendall is not giving up. He is back with another innovation which seeks to address the problem of erratic electricity supply in Malawi.
Through the Kendallgravitor—a power generator—Kendall is determined to solve Malawi’s power hurdles.
He said although it was demoralising to have his idea shot down by the authorities, he will not stop inventing ideas that can bring change to society.
“This time, I have brought the Kendallgravitor which I believe has the potential to reduce electricity problems in the country,” said 33-year-old Kendall, who lives in Area 25 in Lilongwe.
The Kendallgravator is a departure from the traditional methods of generating power by manipulating waterfalls, wind and generators supported by fuel.
His invention uses gravitational force.
Kendall said it took him about a year to come up with the innovation and some months to implement the idea.
Named after him, the Kendallgravitor is made of simple materials such as a bicycle rim, steel bars, rubbers, cylinders and rollers.
On one end, there are two strong steel bars framed to support the revolving part.
It has a big cylinder at the centre to which small steel bars with heavy and light rollers are connected.
These produce the two needed weights for a complete revolution. Some rollers are fixed very close to the central cylinder whereas others are at a distance and in different positions.
“We are using gravitational force. Gravitational force pulls heavy objects, in the process forcing the lighter ones up, thereby creating continuous rotation of the machinery,” said Kendall, who has a City & Guides IT technician certificate.
Like the hydroelectric power generation system, the Kendallgravitor does not need mechanical support to rotate.
But using the gravitational force, it is able to generate electricity by converting mechanical energy.
“I am impressed with the performance of the machine. It has the capacity to rotate very fast, which is the basic necessity in power generation. We are working on getting a cylinder that can help to reduce friction.
“I am currently approaching companies that can produce it because Malawian companies don’t’ have the cylinder,” he said.
Kendal said he is confident the Kendallgravitor has the potential to produce enough voltage to light up a big city such as Blantyre.
“Science says electricity can be produced where there is a powerful revolution. We will connect dynamos whose power will be amplified using step-up transformers before it is distributed.
“This is what any power generation company does. The most interesting thing with the machine is that it uses gravitational force which is readily available. The machine is also easy to make and we can plant as many machines as possible without causing environmental damage.
“The other advantage is that we can control the total amount of electricity produced which means we can have small Kendallgravitors supplying power to telecommunications transmitters away from the cities. This replaces the generators being used today,” said Kendal.
He said he will continue approaching authorities at the Ministry of Energy for their input to ensure the machine is put to use by mid-2014.