Columbia, SC

Modular Power System for Sare Bilaly, Senegal

The Richland Two Institute of Innovation InvenTeam invented a system of interlocking solar modules to power a photocopier for a school in Sare Bilaly, Senegal. The modules snap together and trickle charge two deep cycling pure gel 12-volt batteries. The photocopier can then be run using the batteries with a 2000 watt inverter. The module was designed using sustainable materials and locally accessible materials so it can be assembled, replicated, and repaired by the students of Sare Bilaly themselves. Each module consists of a 3 watt solar cell (12 V, 0.25 A) with a step-down transformer and two switches to route the current to an internal rechargeable battery pack, allowing the module to be used independently as a small study light or 5 volt USB charger that can last for one hour. When combined, the solar modules reach the power requirements to charge two 12-volt batteries in series to get the required 24V of DC power, which in turn are routed through the inverter to run the photocopier on the needed 220V AC. Each power module is made of Balsa wood but can easily be reproduced with available materials. The modular nature of the device ensures that the device has the ability to be stored indoors at night and can be modified if the power needs of the school change over time.

Recent Team Blogs

May 5, 2019
Nearing the date for the much anticipated EurekaFest at MIT this summer, the construction of balsa wood prototype modules instead of using 3-D filament has been well underway along with other technical alterations (Check March blog for further details for the material switch). We are still...
March 10, 2019
The R2i2 InvenTeam had a very successful Mid-Grant Technical Review Presentation and received wonderful feedback as well as suggestions from the audience that attended (To view more details from out MGTR check out Twitter @R2i2InvenTeam). Some members of the audience would have liked to see more...
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...
December 19, 2018
  Within the month of December, our team has made a lot of progress on our project.  The first major task completed included assembling prototype models of our modular devices, made out of 3D printed plastic. Solar panels were soldered with wires and connected to the modular...
November 2, 2018
As technology advances, so does humanity’s dependence on energy; however, about 1 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity. The Richland Two Institute of Innovation InvenTeam consists of nine students working together to provide a sustainable and clean energy...