A lightweight, low-cost kit for collecting, storing, and providing energy -- off-the-grid.
Design parameters: -- Modular and interchangeable kit design -- Energy sources: solar, kinetic (crank, wind, water paddle, etc), battery -- Energy storage: various battery chemistries -- rechargeable NiMH AA, Lithium Ion, salvaged cell phone batteries -- Energy output: various voltages and currents -- able to charge a cell phone, power an LED lamp -- perhaps a laptop -- Display and recording of energy capture and usage statistics (LCD, microSD)
Project goals: -- Off-grid power for communication, lighting, KAP -- Change the way people think about their energy by giving them statistics of their own energy acquisition and usage -- Encourage people to begin to take certain energy uses off-grid (cell phone power, lighting) -- Provide emergency power in case of power outage -- lighting and communication -- The motivation to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources is becomes more straightforward: there is the promise that the individual is enabled to produce all of the energy they need, locally
Version 1.0 (less blue-sky); -- Put together a custom PCB that combines the components of the open source project outlined here: http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/07/09/how-to-make-a-solar-mintyboost-a-solar-power-charger-for-your-gadgets/ -- The result will be a small solar panel + battery kit that can be recharged by the sun, power a cell phone, and can be embedded in e.g. a messenger bag. -- Able to charge several NiMH AA's, in order to supply power to Canon cameras in the field.