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Affordable energy solutions for developing communities

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4 Author(s)
Podmore, R. ; Incremental Syst. Corp., Issaquah, WA, USA ; Larsen, R. ; Louie, Henry ; Waldron, B.

This paper describes efforts by the IEEE PES Community Solutions Initiative (CSI) to provide reliable electricity to the 1.6 billion low income people who do not have access to electric light. The Community Solutions Initiative is a virtual community of professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds who are providing largely pro-bono efforts to design, develop, deliver and promote sustainable energy solutions for developing communities. The CSI Community Charging Station (CCS) is designed to charge batteries that are transported to and from their customers' home or business sites. The CCS can be based upon some combination of solar, wind, biogas, biodiesel and / or human powered generation. In the short time since CSI was formed in April 2010 several instances of the CCS have been developed. The CSI LightCycle is a 60 watt pedal powered generator. Two and half hours of daily pedaling can provide four hours of reading quality light for 100 homes. Home owners can buy a locally made LED reading lamp for $1 and have their batteries charged for around $1 per month. The goal is to make the choice for electric light so affordable that home owners will not have to think twice about converting from expensive, unsafe and unhealthy cancerous kerosene. The CSI Solar Trailer is a 1.4 kW charging station with six 235 watt PV solar panels and four large 245 Amp Hour local storage batteries. The Solar Trailer has 20 parallel controllers for charging portable 12 volt home batteries. The Solar Trailer is sized to support 40 homes each with 100 watt hours of daily consumption. With IEEE funding, three pilot systems are being built for installation in Haiti. The open source 10' diameter wind turbine built by the CSI IEEE PES and EWB-USA Seattle Team provides 700 watts in 22 mph wind and costs less than $500 excluding the tower. An effort to build low cost bamboo wind turbine towers is underway. The CCS can be used to charge a range of batteries sizes and types. Open source designs - - are provided so that local businesses / entrepreneurs can assemble simple but highly effective LED based flashlights, desk/task lamps and ambient / room lamps for a few dollars; excluding battery costs. The CSI products are all based on an open Sustainable Energy Reference Architecture (SERA) so that there is compatibility in all interfaces and maximum commonality of components. The CSI family of products conforms to the criteria defined by Paul Polak; they are extremely affordable and highly miniaturized but infinitely scalable. It now appears that it is a reasonable goal to ensure that the entire world can have access to safe, reliable electric light by the year 2020.

Published in:

Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

24-29 July 2011