GoRolloe is a superb project we've recently worked on, that is worth keeping an eye on. It is an idea, dreamed up by it's founder, Kristen Tapping, whilst on her daily commute on the busy and polluted streets of London. She thought, 'why not use the movement and energy from vehicles to filter air pollution in the most polluted areas.'
It is a cleverly designed air filter, that uses the motion and energy from a moving wheel, to draw air through it. Fitting directly onto a bike wheel, the device filters air on the go. With each rotation of the wheel, polluted air passes through a set of filters and is cleaned before expelling it back into the environment.
Simulation has been conducted using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and direct particle capture testing while riding through London.
The CFD simulation has shown how effectively a centrifugal pump arrangement can work in an ideal environment (simple rotation in static air).
However, it has also shown how the flow is significantly disrupted by headwind, which is more representative of the use on a bike wheel. These different boundary conditions create an imbalance of the flow in the device, and prevent it from functioning really effectively as a centrifugal pump.
There has been interest in the bike wheel from UK retailers and rental bike services and there has been interest in the automotive application from wheel manufacturers
The technology is patent-pending and currently in development, with the intention of conducting pilot trials by the end of summer 2022 and being commercially available by mid 2023.
The company has been bootstrapped to date and has recently received some minimal investment, however is looking to raise its seed round within the next few months.
The founder has a background in industrial design and automotive interior design, and is supported with CFD from South Bank University and engineering from the Imagination Factory.
Kristen and her team have received plenty of attention, with GoRolloe winning a number of competitions for the product's design:
- 2022 QMSVF Pitch Competition
- Lambeth Net Zero Programme
- Better Futures (part of the Sustainable Accelerator, a government and EU funded programme)
- Design Educates Awards 2021
- Design Innovation in Plastics Award, 2020