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:
- Lighting: cold cathode fluorescent lights (see: http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/dbright.htm ), LED headlamps, etc.
- Communication: cell phone chargers, FRS-type radios, other battery powered radios etc.
- Entertainment: pretty much any general purpose device can be found in a AA configuration, like televisions (http://www.amazon.com/Casio-TV-980-2-3-Portable-Color/dp/B0000CGCCM)
- Wood gasification stove (see below)
What won't work:
- Heavy-draw mains appliances (toasters, video projectors)
- $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.