This is a small solar panels that is designed to be constructed and installed in Nicaragua. I created it using minimal materials as well as supplies that are low cost and can be transported easily to Nicaragua. The raw materials for this device will be brought down to Nicaragua where the villagers will be able to construct their own solar panels and have their very first electric light. The villagers will then be able to take these panels home; and with other materials supplied and with our assistance, they will have their very first nonflammable, nontoxic light at night
This eight watt solar panel is constructed out of recycled glass and laser cut 6' x 6' monocrystalline solar cells. This panel is encapsulated in an optically clear rubberized epoxy to provide dampening against falling objects as well as a 100% waterproof barrier to this panel which will last for 20 years without any maintenance. There is a six volt battery and a custom charging circuit. The light is a combination of four low cost 5mm LEDs that are defused and waterproofed.
I hope you are interested in my outreach and enjoy my Instructable!
Step 1: The Idea
With this a laser cutter I would be able to provide the best and lowest cost renewable power source to villagers in Nicaragua and around the world.
With this project, I am limited by financial restrictions to the amount of people that I can help. One solar panel and power station is estimated to cost only $20 and is able to regeneratively illuminate an entire house (one to two room building) continually when there is no sunlight. This solar panel will enable the 40% of the citizens of Nicaragua who have no power and the 60% who have intermittent power, with clean reliable light. The custom led light will provide light for students to study under, reduce the use of fire causing kerosene lanterns, and increase the esteem of the residents because they made a device that is now helping their family be more functional.
At this time my planned cost is spot on except for one component. Currently the 2" x 1" solar cells are purchase pre-cut from a company for $ .30. I can reduce the cost of the solar cells by 480% if I were able to use a Hurricane Laser Cutter. I have 300 6" x 6" Monocrystalline solar cells that cost me $150. Each cell can be cut into 8 cells which can be used in the Nicaragua Solar Panel. The laser cutter would enable me to provide 150 solar panels to villagers in Nicaragua. That is 150 kids that would increase their grade a whole letter grade! That is thousands of dollars saved from using kerosene. That is enough to possibly even save a life from a fire from a tipped over kerosene lamp.