Pablo Oliveros, the Student who Invented a New Wind Generator

Mario Honrubiaengineers

Last week, we reached out to Pablo Oliveros, a Master's Degree student at the Technical University in Madrid (UPM) who has received several awards on his renewable energy project based on an innovative wind generator. 

Pablo Oliveros: Disrupting the Wind Energy Industry

Good afternoon, Pablo. First of all, could you give us a summary of your academic and professional background so far?

Good afternoon. Firstly, I want to thank you for contacting me for this interview, it's a pleasure. My name is Pablo Oliveros, a student at Madrid Technical University (UPM). I gathered you are asking me about the engineering world but, I have actually had two different professional paths.
Most of my day (and night, during the exam period) was devoted to studying an Industrial Technology Degree, with specialization in Electrical Engineering, and now I am taking a Master's Degree to qualify as Industrial Engineer, with specialization in Electrical Engineering. During my spare time I studied music. I have been playing the guitar for a while now and I have also been part of quite a few bands (some of them were serious ones, with a Twitter account and all).
Therefore, my professional experience has been a mix of both worlds. Music has given me the chance to work with Universal Music and, as an engineer, I have worked in Chennai (India) at a wind turbine company WinWind and at Altran Spain as Electrical Engineer at the Wind Energy R&D division. Besides, I have completed my training this last year volunteering at Energías Sin Fronteras (Energy Without Borders) in the microgrids department. Currently I am a full-time Master's Degree student and focused on the launch of my project, together with Actúa UPM. However, I must admit that I still find time to pull out the guitar!

Why did you decide to study engineering? What are your motivations? 

There were two main reasons: first off, I didn't know where I was getting myself into, and secondly I failed every single History exam in high-school! Apart from that, I think my family played a key role in my decision, since both of my parents have a degree related to Science and they have taught me the interest for science and technology.
My main motivation is to apply electrical engineering in every sector where it is becoming relevant, particularly in the generation of renewables, new technologies on storage in batteries and electrical transportation.

Now, please tell me a little bit about the project you carried out

It is a vertical axis wind turbine with helical blades, attached to a permanent magnet generator with an axial flow of 500W nominal. Additionally, it has a driver for security and system control, and a ion sodium battery. The fundamental advantage is that, according to the calculations performed in my project, and based on the wind maps and the energy consumption per capita of the researched countries, only one system could supply 80 people in the Horn of Africa at an average €3.5 per person annually for 20 years.
pablo oliveros Pablo Oliveros with his wind generator
It is therefore a renewable, sustainable and affordable energy solution. One must also take into consideration that had this people access to energy, moreover sustainable energy, there would be a double contribution on the goals laid out in the Agenda 2030: universal access to energy and sustainable generation. One of the most surprising aspects of this project is that some of the countries with the lowest per capita income, such as Chad and Somalia, have great wind resources (the highest in the planet) that are not being used.
From a technical point of view, this project presents very important advantages. Regarding the blades, they do not need any guidance systems, have a wide operational range and a very simple and not often requiered maintenance. The generator is highly efficient, with a considerable density power, and few maintenance requirements. Finally, the ion sodium battery is very similar to the lithium one, but its price is four times lower.

Do you like engineering competitions? Have you won any prizes in relation to engineering? 

I must admit that last year, the only competitions I participated in were the School's Football Cup and a cards tournament. However, since last year I have taken part in many competitions and won an engineering prize with my project.
Firstly, I received the qualification of Honors' Registration by the Chair of Electrical Engineering thanks to my project. Secondly, I was selected to display it at a congress for the cooperation and development organised by the Autonomous University in Madrid and I have been awarded "Best Startup Business Idea" at the Actúa UPM competition.  I am currently working on it, together with Actúa UPM and the Technical University, applying enhancements, researching technologies, with the hope that in the near future I can make the most of new opportunities.
Did you find inspiration in Pablo's story? Do you want to create disruptive innovation and have an impact on society?