Electro Hub


About The Electro Hub
The Electro Hub answers several of the most pressing problems experienced today in South Africa and also experienced by many African and other Countries worldwide.
1. Insufficient Electrical Capacity
2. Poverty
3. Youth Unemployment
4. Lack of Skills

The Electro Hub Story

The search for Clean Cheap energy is historically similar to the search for the “Holy Grail”. As most of Africa is inland, there is no opportunity of using wave power and all the hydroelectric potential is already being exploited so new frontiers need to be found. Additionally, we need to have a source of energy creation that can be sited almost anywhere. There are many examples of solar farms and some instances of wind turbine farms, but these are all being planned and developed as part of the existing national grids extensions or enhancements.
The Electro Hub is revolutionary in so much as it combines Solar, Wind and uniquely Human Energy to produce electrical power. The unique inclusion of utilizing Human power means the Electro Hub also creates employment and helps poverty reduction while at the same time providing a skills enhancement and education component.
A critical feature of the Electro Hub is that even when a seat is not occupied by a person, it still creates a base level of energy using the combination of wind and or solar. The Electro Hub is designed to have 500 seats and each seat has a dedicated solar and mini wind turbine connected to it. During the day if it isn’t sunny it is typically raining and with rain we get wind.
In simple terms, the DC energy generated by the Electro Hub is stored in batteries or by utilizing Grid Tie Inverters the power being generated can immediately be used by for instance Mines thus reducing or eliminating their need to purchase electricity from Eskom.
If the energy generated is not required for immediate use then in high demand periods it can be converted to AC for use when the demand is high and the financial rewards are greater

Education and Training

The BENBEN Eco Seat has been designed to be operated with the minimum of effort so it leaves the seat occupier free to watch and listen to educational programs on the 3 screens in the front of the Hub.
• Artisan Skills Introductions and Practical Demonstrations
     o Bricklaying
     o Plastering
     o Painting
     o Welding
• Preventative Car Maintenance
• Recycling and Green Environmental Basics
• Health Informational Bulletins
• Safety at Work guides
• Job Seeking Skills

The Electro Hub Vision

We have a vision for the future of a green and clean environment and economy, and we intend to be part of it:
Our goal is to erect Electro Hubs in all the provinces of South Africa and other Countries and Regions across the Continent and around the World!
Education is the basis of all prosperity, a secondary but equally important component of our vision is to provide education to those that previously have been deprived of the opportunity, either because of social reasons or financial circumstances. The Electro Hub will pay people to sit and generate energy but as mentioned above it will at the same time broadcast educational programs, in effect paying them to learn, whereas in the past they had to pay to learn.

The Electro Hub and how it applies to the Social Responsibility Program obligations

Most people and businesses, both small and big, are waiting for government to do something to get renewable-energy adoption going in South Africa.
The information from Eskom regarding reverse feeding is that Eskom and our cities are concerned because they do not want people supplying electricity to the grid on those occasions when the grid has been switched off on purpose, for example for maintenance. One should note that this problem was resolved in 1999 with the publication of UL1741 and IEEE1547. Grid-tie inverters which meet these standards automatically switch off when they detect that the grid is not stable and only reconnect when the grid’s voltage and frequency have been stable for a certain length of time.
In a grid-tie configuration, we connect the Electro Hub to a grid-tie inverter that is connected between a mine and the grid. In the grid-tie configuration, if a division of the mine is drawing 1 000 KW and the Electro Hub is supplying 500 KW, then 500 KW comes from the Electro Hub and 500 KW from the grid. If the Electro Hub producing 500 KW and the division is drawing only 200 KW, then 200 KW is exported or sold back to the to the grid.
Another possible configuration is a battery- only configuration and then the grid-tie system will operate at 93% efficiency, whereas the battery-only configuration typically runs in the order of 30% to 55% efficiency. The reason for this low efficiency is that, once the batteries are full and at times when there is no draw, the electricity from the Electro Hub is wasted. In these cases, grid-connected systems could simply reduce the total demand on the rest of the system.
Many loads cannot easily be attached to a battery-based system and, in a country like South Africa, it makes sense to have grid-tie systems with battery backup for those times when the grid is either unstable or down, thus providing security of supply. In most cases, four hours of battery backup for critical loads is more than enough, examples being running computers, lighting, TV sets, and so on, during a power failure.
Net metering would solve this problem and maximise the amount of electricity generated and saved. Excess electricity in effect turns our meters backwards at the same speed they go forwards. For example, if one pays R1,04/kWh when one is drawing electricity from the grid, then, when one is supplying the grid, one would like to be paid R1,04/kWh.
By implementing an Electro Hub the mine can now use the money they would previously have to spend on other Social Responsibility programs that delivered very little benefit directly to the mine or its employees into a Self Sustaining Project benefiting all those directly linked to the mine, be it their employees or the wider community surrounding the mine.

The Mechanics of an Electro Hub

Location & Facilities

With an Electro Hub, site selection is of the utmost importance to the success of the operation. In the case of a Mine erecting an Electro Hub, it is proposed that the Hub is situated within the confines of the mine to reduce any logistics or costs that may be incurred.

Size of the Electro Hub site

For a 500 seat Electro Hub with the corresponding facilities the land area required is approximately 3000 Square Meters. The standard design of a Hub includes bathrooms and amenities for the Hub employees and the casual workers.

Hours and Days of Operation

Operating hours of an Electro Hub can be 24 hours a day 7 days a week every week of the year.

Licensing, Permitting & Other Regulatory Issues

An Electro Hub will comply with all the regulatory requirements for doing business, including any certifications, licenses, permits and registrations. This will include any zoning or building regulations.

Payment of Casual Workers

Every Single seat inside the Hub has a visible light either Red or Green to indicate whether it is occupied or not. The net effect of the current occupancy is automatically shown on LED screens outside the Hub to tell prospective Energy Creators that spaces are available.

When someone wants to sit down and be paid to create energy they will simply go to an unoccupied seat and insert their bank card in to the slot provided. Now the system knows they are there and begins to accumulate the energy created by that seat to the individuals concerned. The seat has a built in safeguard system that recognizes when a seat is unoccupied and a bank card is still inserted then after 2 minutes then the session will be terminated and the Bank Card ejected.
The BENBEN Eco Seat has 2 ways of the occupier can manually create energy, there is a foot pedal that can easily be rocked to and fro or if preferred they can use the handles and with a backwards and forwards motion to activate the process.
There is a screen in front of the operator that at all times shows them exactly how much energy they have generated during the current session and what it is worth to them in monetary terms. There is no minimum or maximum time that the occupant can spend at the Hub, they can also come back as many times during any given day and continue to earn money.
It is important to remember that at the same time as earning money they are also being exposed to education programs on the massive LED screens in front of them. The system understands who was sitting when the various programs are being screened so at a later stage when employment opportunities arise we are able to determine who was watching the relevant educational programs.
When either an occupant decides they want to stop or if the system has detected that the bank card needs to be ejected the money earned during the session is immediately transferred to their account.

Typical Payment Scenario

In generals terms we project that a person sitting at the Hub will earn approximately R6.50 per hour while they are actively generating energy. As this income is being paid directly into their bank account, this can easily be tracked by SARS or any other government department.

UIF or PAYE Accountability

The Electro Hub and the Mine has no UIF or PAYE accountability for either UIF or any PAYE matters. These are casual workers and as such there is no need for them to register with the Electro Hub, the only thing they have to do is to insert their bank card, from that moment on we are able to track their activity and understand what they have done and what programs they have been exposed to.


Minimum Set-Up Cost

The complete setup of an Electro Hub is R32,000,000 plus VAT, this includes:
• Preparation of Site and erection of the 3000 square meter facility including fixtures and fittings
• 500 BENBEN Eco Seats
• 200 Kilo Watt Solar Panel array installed on the roof
• 1000 Kilo Watt Wind Turbine array
• 3 Giant LED Screens and respective projection systems
• Complete Energy capture, storage and distribution systems
• All required computer hardware and related systems
• Research and Development fee (R 2,000,000 included in price)
Once everything is approved it is estimated that a Hub can be operational within 7 months.


Electricity Cost Savings Model

The model below shows in simple terms what the 3 sources of Electricity generation Wind, Solar and BENBEN Seat from the Electro Hub as designed can produce.
It uses some conservative assumptions, namely:
• 10 hours per day moderate wind turbine collection
• 6 hours per day sunlight for Solar harvesting
• 4 KW per day on average generated from the BENBEN Seat.
This shows how the Electro Hub can conservatively generate 12,672 Mega Watts per annum which under Eskom’s current policy attracts a saving of approximately R15.5 Million as Eskom pays R1.22 per KWh saved as this is cheaper than them generating this amount of energy.
The Key here is Energy saving, but with the Electro Hub there is a vital twist. The value proposition is that the Mine will then pay the person sitting at the Seat approximately R6.40 and hour thus injecting money into the local economy while at the same time adding to the education of those previously disenfranchised.
Additionally, the clean energy created by the Electro Hub will attract approximately 634K Rand worth of Carbon Credits each year which adds money to the bottom line of the Mines’ operations.


Annexure 1 – Basic Layout

Annexure 2 – Building ISO

Annexure 3 – Roof Iso View

Annexure 4 – Building All Views

Annexure 5 – Chair

Annexure 6 – Chair with Unit

Side elevation view of chair showing unit below floor.

Annexure 7 – Internal Views of ElectroHub

See below some artists impressions of some internal views of an ElectroHub

View from back left of Hub

View from front right of Hub

View from operator

Different views of the seat

Annexure 8 – Eskom Solar Article

Annexure 9 – Solar and Wind article