Meet the start-up initiative that transforms Istanbul traffic into clean energy

One of the remarkable investments in sustainable energy in Turkey is hidden in the public transport stops in Istanbul.

If you live in Istanbul and have used the metrobus, you may have seen the electricity-generating wind turbines on the bus routes and the sides of the stops.

Enlil Vertical Axis Wind Turbine was developed jointly with Istanbul technical University (ITU) research assistants and a start-up company called Devecitech.

The working logic of Enlils is actually very simple. Generating electricity from the wind emitted by vehicles passing through the streets of Istanbul, especially on the E-5 highway, and from the solar panels on these cylinders.

Stating that the idea of ​​the Enlil project came to his mind during his university years, Develi told euronews about the project:

“My home was in Fenerbahçe and I was going to Yenibosna by metrobus. The road took 1.5 hours. I had a lot of time. I also had a lot of opportunity to think. One day, while I was on the metrobus, I saw a drain flaps moving and I said, “I use this wind”. How do I file a patent? “It’s written, I learned it. And then I said, I’ll produce it. My friends said, “Go find a job, work, don’t join these start-up events. I’m originally a civil engineer, but I’m very interested in technology and sustainable energy.”

“For this reason, I first learned the design, I learned the electrical and electronics part of the job. I built the wind turbine in my room. Of course, a 2-meter device at home did not look very nice. Then I participated in an entrepreneurship competition to find angel investors and got accepted. However, they made fun of me, so to speak. They said you can’t do the job. And I was eliminated from that competition. Then I asked the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality to allocate a place for my project. They were very interested and gave me a place in Edirnekapı. I did the tests of the turbine there and I took a video and put these images on LinkedIn. After that, an interesting thing happened. These images were clicked and shared hundreds of thousands of times, and then millions of times. News began to appear and shared on the websites of countries whose names I do not know on maps. In total, the number of shares exceeded 100 million. The most shared start-up in the world at that time I think we are. But of course we didn’t think that much.” he said.

1 Enlil provides daily energy needs of 2 houses

The wind released by passing vehicles may not sound like a very strong kinetic energy. But the steep, thin iron propellers on the Enlils can generate 1 kilowatt of electricity per hour.

Above these vertical turbines, there is another system that generates electricity from the solar panel. Each Enlil can meet the electrical energy of 2 houses in Turkey.

ENLIL turbines with a modern design have a lifespan of approximately 20 years. The simple and durable design of the Enlils may further extend their lifespan in the future. The turbines are also very easy to assemble and fix.

The mini turbines on Enlils are small enough to be placed next to moving vehicles and take up very little space for a wind turbine. For this reason, it can be installed on city streets, avenues and even buildings, entering areas that conventional wind turbines cannot enter at all. It is also very useful in terms of transportation and assembly.

euronews: Do you intend to develop the Envil project? In which direction is your current work?

“Our main goal is to improve the engineering aspect of the Envil system. Actually, we are not the appropriate type for angel investors. We have a structure that focuses on the project and the product rather than the business-money part. Actually, I did the opposite of what mentors and angel investors said. I would not have been successful if I had listened to them. The roadmap is different. We wouldn’t have been successful if we had listened to everyone. Because we always wanted to be different.”

“We also thought of smart sensors for Envil 2. We changed the design. We made an agreement with a 160-year-old French company to start mass production. Envil 2 puts data such as air pollution, the number of vehicles passing by, and when the turbine will break down into the system. So Envil 2 is actually for the smart city. A project we developed. The new turbine is actually a turbine resembling a DNA helix called “Gorlov helical darrieus”. We moved from the design to the production phase in a short period of 2-3 months. We reduced the wing production time, which would take 1.5 days, to 25 minutes, and reduced the cost 10 times. In fact, henry We did to wind turbines what Ford did to cars.”

euronews: Do you think the studies on sustainable energy in Turkey are sufficient?

“I don’t like orientalist culture. We accomplished many things in the republican period. If we turn to ourselves and put our egos aside, if we stop fighting, things will work out. Young people’s brains work like poison. There are many hardworking people. We are behind in production rather than production. For example, wind turbines and solar panels. There is no point in buying them from abroad and installing them in Turkey. The production of these systems must be completely domestic. Service cannot be obtained from outside, raw materials are from outside. Technology should not come from outside. We get used to the new very quickly. As the Turkish nation, it is necessary for sustainable energy “We have to produce the systems locally. Otherwise, it will not make sense. Our potential in solar and wind energy is very high. However, how much of it we can use is a question mark.”

euronews: What kind of work should be done in the world against global warming? How can emissions be reduced?

“China and the USA should be involved in this. China is already emitting a very large amount of emissions on its own. If these two countries do not take the lead in the transition to renewable energy, these things will not work. Meanwhile, nuclear energy is 99.5 percent renewable energy. France accounts for 70 percent of its energy needs. “Maybe this can be considered as well. Nuclear is not a very dangerous technology as it is thought. Security measures are very high.”

“There is a company that produces chlorofluorocarbon gas (used in deodorants). They found an alternative gas and used it in deodorants. This time they propagated against chlorofluorocarbons and bankrupted other companies. In fact, every door leads to capitalism.”

euronews: What can the public do about it? What should we do in our daily lives to reduce global warming?

“Public awareness should also be raised. We were invited to a conference in Berlin attended by the energy ministers of many countries. They said there that the biggest waste of energy in the world is in the food-agriculture sector. The first is faulty irrigation and the second is refrigerators. Refrigerators unfortunately do not work well with the gases inside. It cannot be recycled. If we make progress in these two areas, we don’t actually need an extra watt of electricity.”

“Besides, we need to change our lifestyle. We don’t need 10 t-shirts a year. The production of one t-shirt pollutes 10 tons of water. Unnecessary packaging has gradually started to disappear from the market. For example, the production of electric vehicles pollutes the environment more than fossil fuel vehicles at the production stage. Because the system it’s a trend, but the cost of producing electric vehicles is lower. He thinks big business for governments and big companies. I don’t think people’s old lives will change easily without a major disaster or big sanctions. We are people who poison the air they breathe for money. And my advice to friends who are in need is that they should not listen to anyone and focus on their work with patience. This is how success will come.”

But Enlil’s benefits to nature are not limited to this. The turbines are also equipped with a series of smart technologies that monitor the temperature, humidity, emission rate and earthquake activity of the region.

The data obtained by these vertical turbines makes significant contributions to the studies of scientists who make measurements related to the environment and climate change in Istanbul.

This idea was brought to life by Kerem Deveci, an entrepreneur and a civil engineer. Deveci, who started his higher education in Vienna Technical University, Department of Civil Engineering, studied and graduated in the last year of his department at Istanbul Kultur University. During his student life, Develi worked on alternative energy sources and renewable energy turbines.

Award to ENLIL project

The idea of ​​Enlil turbines came to Kerem Deveci’s mind during his long BRT journeys during his student life. Deveci lived in Kadıköy, that is, on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, and to go to school, he had to take the metrobus to Yenibosna, the other end of the European side. When Deveci developed this idea, his opportunities were limited. He designed the turbines he named ENLIL in his room and received support from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) in 2017.

Deveci, which continues its work with the Enlil 2 project and aims to spread these turbines to more highways and streets, has been accepted to the Ulukaya Initiative start-up support program given to entrepreneurial youth by billionaire businessman Hamdi Ulukaya, owner of Chobani, the largest yogurt company in the USA. The young engineer made it to the finals in 2018 and became one of the 6 start-up companies whose project received support.

Deveci won many awards with this project. Deveci, who was included in the list of “30 Europe under 30 (Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2020)” in the manufacturing and industry category of Forbes magazine, was selected first in the technology branch in the Merdedes Benz Turkish Start-up Competition in 2018.

Deveci also represented Turkey in Scotland by winning the world’s largest climate competition, ClimateLaunchpad Urban Transitions.

Turkey obtained 24.6 terawatts of electricity from wind energy in 2020

Last year, the electricity obtained from wind energy in Turkey reached the highest level of the year with 24.6 terawatts (tWh), while the share of wind in total electricity production was 8.1 percent.

Looking at the data for the first 6 months of 2021, the ratio of electricity generated by using wind to other sources in Turkey is 9.4. Since there was a drought in 2021 in Turkey, the rate of electricity obtained from hydroelectric power plants decreased by 12.4%.

Turkey is a very rich geography in terms of sustainable energy production capacity. A wind energy company in Denmark received an investment of 85.2 million euros from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and is designing important projects for sustainable energy production in Turkey.

There are plans to collaborate with Denmark on an offshore wind farm, an 85.2 million Euro mega investment from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and ongoing plans to expand green energy production on Turkish soil.

If the Enlil and Enlil 2 projects, developed by Devecitech company, become widespread successfully in Istanbul, they may initiate similar projects in some big cities in Europe.

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