We will invent a tracking device that positions a solar panel so that it receives direct sunlight for the entire day. A simple comparative circuit, using two photo resistors, will be used to provide a signal to a transistor H-Bridge which will drive a small DC motor. This small portable tool will be able to charge a battery throughout the day, which can then be used for night time lighting or cell phone charging for people living without electricity.
Energy and Environment
The Williamston High School InvenTeam invented the Offshore Rip Current Alert (ORCA) system to reduce the number of drowning deaths due to rip currents in the Great Lakes. ORCA features a rip current detection buoy equipped with a mechanical flow meter to detect current speeds and an alarm to alert swimmers when dangerous conditions are present. The buoy costs approximately $400, weighs approximately 60 lb and requires minimal set-up time and maintenance. The ORCA system contains a 12 V battery that relies on solar power to maintain its charge throughout its deployment.
The Northeast High School InvenTeam invented a portable, bicycle-powered emergency water filtration station that uses cloth filtration and an ozone sanitation sanitizer to eliminate pathogens like Vibrio cholerae and E. coli from contaminated water. The invention provides 20-30 individuals with 4 L of drinking water and enough bathing water for five people in a 15 hr period. The collapsible and transportable design weighs 125 lb and takes 30 min to an hour for assembly and disassembly. If mass-produced, the invention will cost $700.
The KIPP Houston High School InvenTeam invented a formula that combines pollutant-absorbing additives with paint. When painted on surfaces, the formulation reduces the concentration of atmospheric pollutants at a rate of .016 mg per min. As a result, the paint formulation not only improves aesthetics, but also reduces air pollution within its immediate vicinity. One gallon of the paint formulation reaches absorption capacity within 10 years.
The Landmark School InvenTeam invented a low-cost solar water desalination and purification system along with a seedling nursery drip irrigation unit. The units can be used for everyday life and disaster relief in coastal developing countries with arid conditions. The units can be shipped and assembled as a kit of parts or simply as directions for local assembly using materials available in the end-users area such as bottles, PVC piping and wood. The assembled system will cost approximately $30.
The East Central High School InvenTeam invented a solar-powered dry heat sterilizer for mobile or isolated medical teams to sterilize surgical equipment without relying on local power, water sources or dangerous chemicals. The device uses sunglight to warm an inside heating element up to 205Â° C. Air circulates through the heating element and a sterilization chamber, disinfecting surgical instruments within 15 minutes. The dry heat sterilizer is stored in two portable cases and can be set up and ready for use within one hour. The device costs less than $1,000 to build.