1. ITV Report

Glastonbury loos powered by pee

The Pee Power urinal in action at Glastonbury Festival 2015 Credit: University of the West of England

The Pee Power urinal that turns pee into electricity - designed by researchers at the University of the West of England - is at Glastonbury Festival for the second year running.

It’s a joint project with workers from Oxfam and Dunster House shelter manufacturers.

A toilet in Africa that could be transformed with Pee Power Credit: UWE

The toilets are being trialled in the field before being shipped out to Africa and India later this year where they could change the lives of those living in countries where sanitation and electricity are not generally available.

The Pee Power loo made its first appearance at Glastonbury last year, following its launch. This year the urinal is twice as big and capable of accommodating up to 25 people at once.

Let there be light - thanks to the power of pee Credit: UWE

It is powered by urine fed through microbial fuel cells that generate enough electricity to light up the inside of the unit.

The festival presents us with the opportunity to trial the technology, along the lines of its robustness and cleaning capability, in terms of the sheer numbers of people and therefore the amount of urine

The urinal at the festival this year is going to be built to the size we plan to use for refugee camps.

– Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, Director of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre

In most refugee camps around the world, and in poor slum areas, light is needed at night.

The microbial fuel cells light up patches in the camp and this is important in regard to women’s safety at night.

Another bonus of this technology is the ability to charge mobile phones.

– Andy Bastable, Water Sanitation Manager for Oxfam
Queueing for the loo at Glastonbury... Credit: UWE

The project is in quite early days in terms of the field trials and Oxfam is hoping to work with the Bristol BioEnergy Centre not just on investigating the lighting inside toilets but working towards lighting a six metre radius around the toilets so we have street lighting based on pee power.

Glastonbury organisers have said that it is vital that festival goers do not pee on the land as it pollutes the river that runs through the site and harms fish and other wildlife.

The river that runs through the Glastonbury Festival site Credit: ITV News

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