Tech entrepreneur builds powerful air- powered engine in Akwa-Ibom State

An indigene of Akwa Ibom State, Kufre Ekanem from Essien Udim Local Government Area has made a breakthrough in technology by building a Kekane Air Turbine Engine which does not use fuel, diesel or water to operate.

According to this young Akwa Ibom- born inventor, Kekane Air Turbine Engine is a new invention that has the features of a very high power to weight ratio as compared to the reciprocating engine, smaller than other reciprocating engines of the power rating, high operating pressure, high speed pressure, low lubricating oil cost and consumption, runs on only dry and filtered air, among others.

For the compressor, the engine sucks air from the atmosphere and compresses it to pressure. The compressed air is recycled continuously until the absolute air pressure is reached, then automatic pressure relief system regulates the air pressure by releasing the excess pressure into the atmosphere. The recycling of the compressed air in the system makes it close loop control system.

Speaking with The Crest while explaining how he came about the alternative solutions engine called Kekane Air Turbine Engine, Ekanem said he was inspired into invention by his sheer desire to do something differently and to also contribute in solving human problems.

He recounted that as a young boy growing up, he was always disenchanted with the idea of continuous buying of fuel for their generating set which he said could not sustain power as long as he wanted.

EKanem said consequent upon this unpalatable situation, he began to think of how to generate electricity using only air or any other means outside of fuel, water or diesel to address the nearly everyday energy problem of his early days.

In his words: “ I am a technician. I have done several technical works in hospitals and outside of hospitals, installation of engines, mass, household appliances and other machines.

“ So, I brought all these ideas into one; to invent this engine. I’m someone who does not like depending on anybody or organization. I have always thought of doing something different.

“ When I was much young, we used to buy fuel to run our generating set. And I used to notice that after few minutes or hours, the fuel would dry up and it would look like there wasn’t light in the first place. I was not comfortable with that. So, I began thinking how to generate light using air or any other means other than water or fuel. That was what inspired me.

“ I remember when I was working with Julius Berger, I used to say to myself that one day, I will create something different. In fact, while I was working there, I established my company”.

On what problems his invention would solve in the society, Mr. EKanem said it would address the issue of lack or insufficient energy in the country which he lamented had been the principal reason for disappearance of companies in Nigeria.

“ I’m trying to solve energy problems. There are issues of energy in Nigeria and companies are running out, because they cannot survive cost of production, lack of energy and even transmitting this energy.

“So, I had to come up with this technology to generate energy to solve these problems”.

According to this inventor who said he dropped out of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Uyo, owing to what he referred to as some issues that came his way. But this, rather than thwart his dream of invention, became a spring board on which he was propelled to birth the air-powered engine.

As a move to seek support and build more of the Kekane Air Turbine Engines to benefit human society, Ekanem disclosed that he had contacted the Ministry of Science and Technology in Akwa Ibom State and Technology and Incubation Centre, but was told to go back and perfect the invention before they could give any assistance.

He however stated that the level of breakthrough in the invention of the air- powered engine couldn’t have been possible if the Deeper Life Bible Church where he worships, his pastor and friends did not give him all the supports and encouragement he needed to make a headway in this field of discovery.

On the challenges he encountered in process, the young inventor said when hr started, he was discouraged from going into invention which he said the people felt was too huge for him, but to go into something else.

The Essien Udim- born inventor also revealed that though all the materials for the engine were sourced locally, another cog in the wheel of the progress of the invention was the difficulty in having access to these materials and funds to purchase them.

He however said because of his determination to invent something different to solve energy problems of man, he kept faith and remained undaunted up until the Kekane Air Turbine Engine became a dream come true.

Mr. EKanem is therefore, calling on the Akwa Ibom State Government, through the Ministry of Science and Technology, Technology Incubation Centre, government agencies, companies and individuals to come and assist him to go beyond just remaining a local inventor of air-powered engine.

He believed with assistance and collaboration, he would build more of such that can pass through any test, both nationally and internationally.

Mr. Godswill Brown who has been of a tremendous encouragement and support to the vision, expressed the belief that with more of Kekane Air Turbine Engines, the energy challenge being faced in the country which has ripple adverse effects on the economy would be over, in view of the fact that air is readily available everywhere.

He therefore, called on the Governor Udom Emmanuel and relevant bodies to support the invention to go beyond the shores of Akwa Ibom State.

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