Substitute for national grid or heavyweight solar with:

  • One 80 watt panel connected to a 15 minute AA battery charger (e.g. the new generation Rayovacs)

These items will be connected into a "power pillar" - a walk-up charging station where people come with their empty NIMH batteries, drop them into the charger, wait 15 minutes, then take them home. Assuming a 10 hour charging day, that services 40 sets of batteries.

Each AA NiMH battery has a capacity of approx 2000 mAh at 1.25V, equivalent to 2.5 VAh. If charger efficiencies are 25% (my guess) then we need about 10 Wh to charge each battery.

80 W for 10 hours is 800 Wh per day or enough to charge 80 batteries a day.

Applications for this system include:

What won't work:

  • Heavy-draw mains appliances (toasters, video projectors)

Financial model:

  • $400 for the panel, $100 for the charger and pillar. ($12.50 per household)
  • $200 for 80 fast charge AA batteries say 4 each for 20 households.
  • $100 or 20 lighting units.
  • $700 total or $35 each for 20 households.

$50 per household should comfortably buy everything required for basic electrical services. A bare bones system (lighting and stoves only) would be about $12.50 per household because the cost of the panel, charger and pillar could be split between 80 households.

Discussion[View | Edit]

1) Do you have a link to the "new gen[eration] Rayovacs"? I wasn't sure what you were referring to here.

2) I assume that the numbers in the financial model refer to "per household" costs, rather than "per adult" costs, and changed them accordingly.

3) The assumption is that there will be a single lighting unit per household, correct?

4) I'm not sure about the "less than $20 per household" math. In particular, assuming that the fast-charge batteries and the (single) lighting unit remain $10 a piece, you'd still need another $5/household to pay for the panel, charger and pillar (assuming there were 100 households). Maybe the sentence could read, "A bare bones system would be around $25 per household."? I didn't change it, though, in case I'm missing something important.

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