Technology that converts urine into electricity is being showcased at Glastonbury Festival for a fourth year.
An installation of a large 40-person urinal has returned near the Pyramid Stage to raise awareness of the system, which is being commercialised as announced last year and introduced to off-grid areas in the developing world.
The ‘Pee Power’ system can turn urine into enough electricity to power lighting or charge mobile phones. At the same time, it sanitises urine and produces plant fertiliser as a natural by-product.
Energy produced at the event will power lighting in the urinal block at night, while a new feature ‘Pee to Play’ will see festival goers playing retro games on Game Boys powered by the system.
Visitors can rate their Pee Power experience via an electronic display and give survey feedback to academic staff available to explain how the technology works.
Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, director of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre at Bristol Robotics Laboratory who developed the technology said: ‘It’s a great pleasure to be welcomed back to this wonderful event for a fourth year and to be part of the festival’s environmentally-conscious sanitation campaign.
‘There’s been much activity with our technology since our appearance in 2017, with the introduction of Pee Power to schools in Uganda and Kenya supporting our aim to improve safety and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities including in refugee camps and slums.
‘Our system is being refined and made more efficient, and for the first time we will be powering some of the applications directly, which means no batteries. We even hope to be generating surplus electricity, especially during the busiest times at the festival.
‘As team of scientists, we’re hoping for greater interaction with the public this year and it’s the first time we’ll be recording public feedback on the system,’ he added.