GoRolloe

PEDAL POWERED AIR FILTER

GoRolloe is an idea dreamt up by the founder, Kristen Tapping, while she was on her daily bicycle 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. As most pollution is within 2 metres of the ground, a bike wheel is in the ideal position. it adds very little resistance for the cyclist, so the results are possible with very little additional effort.

Fitting directly onto a bike wheel, the device filters through air on the go. With each rotation of the wheel, polluted air passes through a set of filters and is cleaned of particulate matter before expelling it back into the environment.

RESULTS

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.

VEHICLE EMISSIONS

The particulate build up (vehicle emissions, tyres and brake pads) is easy to spot on a traffic cone or  building near busy roads, but without these tangible examples, it's possible to overlook the sheer volume of particulates in the air.

Early testing shows the device is making a positive contribution to removing pollution from the air, albeit a small amount right now (capturing an average of 2mg of particulate matter for every km).

The legal European limit of petrol and diesel vehicles is 5mg per km (Euro 6) and Tapping says the next step is to analyse the captured particles to qualify their size and nature, and conduct the experiment on a larger scale during pilot trials.

Tapping is fully aware that GoRolloe won't solve the problem on it's own, but believes that GoRolloe can play a part, along with other innovations, in reversing the air quality trends in cities.

pollution coated traffic cones

DEVELOPMENT FOR VEHICLES

We've been working with Tapping, to look at some other designs, given how exposed it is on the bicycle wheel ie: so it's drawing air from the outside and moving it to the inside. Typically the air and particulate, wants to flow to the outside, but with careful design of the vanes, we can actually encourage movement inwards.
 
There are other applications such as trucks and cars, where the wheel is actually very much more sheltered from those headwinds, with greater rotational speeds. In these circumstances the centrifugal approach could be more effective. Given a significant proportion of particulate pollution typically comes from tyres and brake pads, being in close proximity to the wheels means it is ideally placed.

COMMERCIAL INTEREST

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.

TEAM

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.

DESIGN AWARDS

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

"I have loved working with the team at The Imagination Factory as they are taking a completely new approach to the design engineering challenge, bringing up methods that I wouldn't have thought of, helping us to go into the next stage of pilot trials. The Imagination Factory is really great at thinking through problems from concept to manufacturing and finding the most efficient methods to suit the designer's needs.”

Kristen Tapping
Inventor
GoRolloe

Our involvement

  • Design Engineering 
  • Airflow and filtration
  • Prototype construction
  • Sustainability
  • Testing

Work with us

If you have a design engineering project you'd like our help with, please get in touch with one of us at The Imagination Factory today. 

We'd love to know more.

 

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