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Dunster House builds the biggest PEE POWER urinal at Glastonbury

Written by Paula Devine | 05 Jul 2017

The project is the result of the collaboration with UWE Bristol and Oxfam

The biggest PEE POWER urinal ever built was given a prime location at the Glastonbury Festival. Situated few hundred metres from the landmark of the event, the Pyramid stage. The urinal was ready to accommodate up to 40 people, turning the urine into electricity to power phones, information screens and turn on lights.

After three years of collaboration with Oxfam and scientists at the Bristol Bioenergy Centre (BBiC), Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of West of England (UWE Bristol), the project took another step forward this year. Dunster House built a pissoire with a bigger capacity; to power up for the first time display screens with information and updates.

The ambitious project is the result of a collective effort between Dunster House, UWE Bristol and Oxfam to improve lives in refugee camps and areas with no sanitation or electricity. Scientists and volunteers working in the BBiC also explained how the technology works to the interested festival goers.
At peak times of the festival over 1,000 litres of urine were flowing everyday through the microbial fuel cells of the main pissoire, generating enough PEE POWER to charge ten information panels. A second unit was located at the inter stage area, close to the press enclave and performers. This unit included a mobile phone charging unit and internal lighting, targeting journalists and star performers who wanted to know more about the humanitarian project.

The Pee Power project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, works via stacks of
microbial fuel cells that use urine as a fuel for direct electricity generation when live bacteria consumes urine for their growth and maintenance. The Microbial Fuel Cell technology taps a portion of that biochemical energy used for microbial growth, and converts it directly into electricity. This means that the technology can use any form of organic waste and turn it into useful energy, without relying on fossil fuels.

After the Glastonbury challenge, the Pee Power urinals will be taken to Uganda at the end of the year for their first ever overseas trial.

Dunster House Ltd.
Dunster House Ltd. has been established in the UK retail market since 1994, with sites in Bedford, Flixborough,Warminster, Faversham, Basingstoke and Liverpool and eleven sister factories in three countries across Europe (Estonia, Hungary and Poland).
It is the UK’s largest Garden Building Company, one of the largest UK Timber Climbing Frame Companies and produces many other successful and diverse product lines. Six years ago, Managing Director Chris Murphy decided to open a new Humanitarian department within Dunster House HQ, dedicated solely to finding solutions to humanitarian crisis using their expertise, resources and knowledge of design and manufacturing. Currently, Dunster House has become one of the leading manufacturers of sanitation equipment for national and international charities.

Topics: Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Paula Devine

Written by Paula Devine

Paula is Head of Membership and Global Services at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

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