January 22, 2019

With the Mid-Grant Technical Review well on its way in February, preparations are being made to make sure we’re ready to present our audience and community the astounding progress made by the team. After returning from the much needed holiday break (which the team wishes you all spent wonderfully), we’ve been actively conducting adjustments on our prototype, specifically the design and building of a circuit for our module. As with any invention, however, there is always tribulation among its course.

Results from a previous test showed that when one of our new switches were added, it was in the wrong place diverting 5 volts from our 12-volt panel meant to charge the internal battery storage. This restriction only allowed for 7.56 volts, from the max 12 volts that could be produced, to be generated off the panel. This was fixed by moving the switch and wiring the step-down converter board differently. After this correction, we were able to use all 12 volts in cases where we might want to increase the voltage or current when they are put in any configuration. The correction also enabled us to use the modules separately for personal uses such as safely charging a phone or any other small electronic device with the 5 volts coming out of the step-down converter module.

Further design updates were made once our team decided to switch from 6-volt panels to 12-volt panels leading to a size difference. Other details included adding holes for our two switches. Overall, it's astounding to see how much progress our team has made regarding the design, thinking, and fabrication of our module that started out as adjoining boxes (See photo to the right). We will soon be switching from 3D printed boxes for our module to wood boxes for resource availability in Sare Bilaly, Senegal.

Technical aspect part of the blog written by Admin Lead, Ronald Fowler.




(The 6-volt panel prototype.)