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Charlotte Slingsby (Moya Power)

Charlotte Slingsby won June's Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award and was a finalist for the 2016 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Cape Town is among the windiest urban locations in the world. Due to poor infrastructure, it is also a city highly susceptible to power outages. It was this dichotomy of factors in her home city that inspired budding entrepreneur, Charlotte Slingsby, to find an innovative way of utilising an abundance of available wind to create a renewable energy source in urban environments. 
 
The challenge of generating large scale wind energy in a small scale way, to suit the needs of an urban population, was one that Charlotte Slingsby, founder of Moya Power set out to solve.  
Charlotte, a young South African entrepreneur now based in London, in 2015 developed Moya (meaning ‘wind in the Xhosa language) - a new type of flexible sheet that harvests light winds to generate energy. Each Moya sheet is comprised of thousands of free standing filaments, which are embedded with a flexible piezoelectric film that converts strain energy caused by the movement of the wind into electrical energy1. Unlike current wind turbines, Moya sheets take advantage of low-grade, un-obstructed winds and do not require strong wind currents in order to generate energy. Once installed, the material can operate consistently throughout the day, harvesting renewable energy 24/7. 
 
Put simply, Moya is a low-carbon solution to harnessing wind energy while conserving space at the same time. The sheets can be fitted onto many different surfaces, similar to the way in which solar panels can be applied to buildings, and hidden from public view, making use of otherwise redundant surfaces by turning them into ‘energy scavenging’ areas. 
 
Charlotte believes that Moya can be utilised at scale across a range of building developments and cities – from major urban areas to countries lacking in adequate infrastructure like South Africa. She hopes that Moya will one day become so adaptable that it can be applied to all areas and no longer be seen as just a building bolt-on, but as an essential source of power for all new buildings, designed in from the outset. “I envision Moya being just as common as applying paint to a building,” Charlotte says. 
 
You can follow Moya Power on Twitter.

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