Monday, 2 January 2017

High-Rise may soon use wipers - Engr. Osaz' Enobakhare

A young Nigerian Engineer, 27 is working on developing automated detachable and retractable self-powered wipers to clean surfaces of glass facades, glazed wall panels, tiles and cladding on high-rise buildings of dust, molds and stains. A clean glass improves visibility and enhances the aesthetics of the building on which it is installed. 

The proposed wipers are similar to those used in motor vehicles except that they are exceptionally longer in length and so can cover a larger area. Buildings 18-metre or more in height above the natural ground level are often classified as high-rise buildings. The cost, risks and complexities involved in maintaining the exteriors of high-rise buildings may reduce drastically if this invention sees the light of the day. Considering the growing number of high-rise buildings across the country and by extension all over the world, there is likely widespread in the adoption of this technology. 


The first prototype of the wiper would be available in 2017. The idea of powering itself is so that as soon as it is programmed, it continues to perform its duties irrespective of power outages. There are indications that the wiper will rely on solar power. This is based on the fact that solar panels can fit in perfectly into the engine compartment of the wiper. The wiper itself is not to be programmed to work every day, hence there is ample time to collect and save energy for next use. The wiper engine compartment is to consist of water channels, micro-tanks and sprayer that automatically spray clean water and liquid soap on the surface as the wiper’s blade wipes across.


Photo Illustration of wiper on a high-rise building
Ideally cleaning of glasses is to be carried out every year, especially during the dry season when dust naturally gathers on glass surfaces but with this invention in the pipeline, cleaning can be done by just anyone every other day. Due to the cost implication of such exercise it has been observed that most high-rise building owners in the country normally carry out maintenance every 5-10 years. The cost implication is even higher for sky-scrappers.

The price and durability potential of the building wiper is not yet known but it is not baseless to assume that this concept is a cost-effective maintenance solution. According to the inventor of the building wipers, they are to be attached to a top beam or roof of the building from which they stretch out their blades to wipe and then automatically retract back to original position after cleaning operation is completed. Its component parts are detachable and the wiping blades can be replaced with even greater ease. Enthusiasts are imploring that smaller model that can be used for small residential or low-rise commercial buildings should also be produced.