Emirates

Dubai-based inventor could change the future of energy in the region

Dubai-based inventor could change the future of energy in the region

Dubai: Picture this - A truck is driving on a road and the road is sloping downward. Instead of the truck driving like it normally would downwards, it parks onto a rubber conveyor belt that is placed on a segment of the road and connected by two axes. The weight of the truck propels the belt forward down the hill. There are multiple generators connected to this belt and the rotation of it creates alternative energy that can be used to power up cities.

The invention is simple, yet effective. It involves placing rubber serpentine belts on roads, runways and railways and using the weight of vehicles, planes and trains to rotate the belts and create energy out of the movement.

Musbah Lahib Invention
A snapshot from Lahib';s sketch book highlighting how the invention works

The inventor Musbah Lahib, is a UAE-based Lebanese national, who has a passion for finding sources of clean alternative energy. “I have a desire for sustainable energy and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” he said.

For over 20 years, Lahib has been working on a generator system that could use the weight of transportation vehicles to generate clean energy. His invention, which is now US Patented under his and his brother’s name, Hussein Lahib, could help provide a new form of alternative energy that is clean and sustainable to countries all over the world.

“The benefits of this project to society and our environment are plenty,” Lahib said to Gulf News.

“Utilization of this project provides the production of alternative energy that is clean and sustainable and also contributes to traffic safety and aircraft landing safety.” Not only would this project create an output of clean energy, it would also go a long way in preserving roads as well as reducing vehicle pollution.

These benefits are relevant to all countries and societies. However, what makes it more significant for the UAE is that it is a pioneering country in these areas, which constitute a prominent headline of Expo 2020.

Lahib’s interest in alternative energy began in the 1970s. “The unjust deprivation of energy that Lebanon suffers from despite the possible existence of many alternative energies made me develop a passion for searching for alternative energy, of which I found that there are many.”

The unjust deprivation of energy that Lebanon suffers from despite the possible existence of many alternative energies made me develop a passion for searching for alternative energy, of which I found that there are many.

- Musbah Lahib

“Every winter the electricity supply in my hometown in Lebanon was cut off due to the surges in sea waves preventing fuel tankers from reaching the power stations,” he said. He saw the waves carrying some ships and throwing them to the beach. This prompted him to think about exploiting this wave movement such that instead of it causing electricity outages, it would be a source of generating electricity.

“I always thought that this tremendous mechanical energy created by the waves which were capable of throwing thousands of tons of ships, could definitely be converted into substantial electrical energy and generate electricity. So, I started developing this idea and then stopped after I found out that it is already being progressed.”

US Patent for Musbah Lahib
A copy of Lahib's US Patent Image Credit: Supplied by Lahib

It took Lahib time to get a patent because at no point in life was he able to fully work on this invention or any of his other ideas without the distraction of his daily life. “The implementation of the experiments, prototype development, and any required preparation were performed whilst maintaining a family, social life and professional duties were overwhelming. Despite that, innovative solutions have always occupied most of my time and attention.”

He was educated at a public school in Lebanon then studied for one year at the Faculty of Law at the Lebanese University in 1977. He then moved to architecture and received a Postgraduate Diploma in Interior Architecture from the Lebanese University in 1985 as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Publicity in 1987.

This invention could change the transport industry by taking a major cause of pollution and turning it into a source of energy.