Spotlight on Arya Bairat: 17-Year Old Sustainable Inventor
This Maker Month, we’re highlighting some of the most inspiring makers and creators we know. And Arya Bairat is no exception. At just 15 years old, Arya developed the EES Sustineri – a system that combines innovative technologies to provide a sustainable, cost-effective source of electrical power that could be used in almost any industry. This incredible creation won him the Global Engagement Award for affordable and clean energy at the World Affairs Council of Connecticut’s Luminary Awards. We caught up with Arya to ask him more about his project and his advice for the next generations of makers:
What are your earliest memories of being a “maker?”
I always had a fascination with electronics and batteries, from the age of around seven or eight. At that time, I was experimenting with combining batteries from cell phones, for example. I chose to study engineering in middle school and my teachers helped me a great deal. I was extremely interested in the environment and electronics right from the start, so it was also my own experimentation that helped me to learn.
What started your interest in renewable energy?
I live near a forest where I am surrounded by nature, so I have been naturally drawn to environmental issues. As a child, I was always curious about how nature works on a micro basis, such as how trees are formed, how plants store energy, and so on. My teachers also inspired me to become interested in this subject at a young age.
Can you tell me a little bit about your EES Sustineri project?
EES stands for efficient electronic storage and it is a harnessing device that combines three sources. It is extremely cost-effective at storing energy. It’s a hybrid of inexpensive 3D printed wind turbine technology, piezoelectricity that converts mechanical stress into an electrical charge and photovoltaic effect – with energy stored in a low-cost supercapacitor that lasts for over a decade.
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome in this project?
The main challenges were the time constraints and budget. To meet the National Invention Convention deadlines, I had to produce everything within six months, including making prototypes, a research proposal and a business plan. Bringing all the components together and managing time were the biggest hurdles.
Why do you think your project has won awards such as the Global Engagement Award?
What has made it particularly interesting is the fact that the system is so cost-effective at storing energy – and that it can store more than one type of energy, too. I think it has been so highly recognized because it is a commercially viable proposition – and also that I’ve developed it in high school at such a young age.
How will your invention help people around the world?
There are numerous applications for the product, and it can be used in any location, such as remote areas where power production facilities do not exist. Because it is not dependent on just one source of energy, but rather a mixture, it doesn’t rely on the sun in the way solar systems do, for example. It could benefit industries such as wind farms, but also companies such as electric vehicle manufacturers, and so on.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I’m very interested in the energy industry, as that’s such an expanding field, but I am also keen on the environmental and health sectors. I’m seeing these fields overlapping and connecting more and more, so I don’t know if I would focus on just one. I also have an interest in filmmaking and documenting what I invent, so that’s another potential career. We’ll see!
What advice would you give to other young people who are interested in making and inventing?
I would say try to do something that you enjoy and want to experience. Don’t let your ideas go to waste! There is always someone out there who will support you, whether at school, college or online. Don’t be afraid to fail! Publish your ideas, patent your inventions or ask your teachers to help. I would also recommend studying different fields. What I created involved a mixture of electronics, sustainable technology, chemistry and environmental science – these are all connected.
How are initiatives like Maker Month from Stanley Black & Decker and competitions like the Invention Convention helping young makers?
They have really inspired me to come up with new ideas. It’s great to have the support of companies in this way and it makes a big difference.
For more inspiring Maker Month stories, please visit https://www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/social-responsibility/maker-month