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Ghetto2Garden solar power

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Practivistas Dominicana - Student Projects

La Yuca ecoladrillo schoolroom (2011) - La Yuca rainwater catchment (2014) (2013) (2012) (2011) - La Yuca small scale renewable energy (2014) (2012) (2011) - La Yuca schoolroom renovation (2013) - Las Malvinas ecoladrillo schoolroom (2012) - Las Malvinas botica popular hullkrete (2015) (2013) - Las Malvinas eco-block police station (2014) - Las Malvinas eco-block testing (2015) (2014) - Las Malvinas botica popular ecoladrillo (2013) - Las Malvinas rainwater catchment system (2014) (2013) - Las Malvinas rainwater feasibility study (2014) - Las Malvinas community center shade structure (2014) - Ghetto2Garden solar power (2014) (2013) - Arroyo Norte waste plastic innovations (2015) (2014) - Solar workshops (2015)



Objective Statement

The objective of this Appropriate Technology project was to develop and construct a renewable energy system with Ghetto2Garden dog shelter program to fuel part of the shelter. We worked on putting together renewable energy for Ghetto2Garden to not only have a more dependable source of energy but to lessen carbon emissions. The renewable energy system will eventually be used to power a vaccination refrigerator, and other miscellaneous units such as cell phone chargers and laptops. It turned out that solar energy was the most accessible and appropriate technology for Ghetto2Garden. The project consisted of two parts; Building a "Solar Power Cube", and constructing a "Solar Lighting Cube."

Background

The streets are not the most suitable habitat for animals to live in. Animals are especially vulnerable when they need rehabilitation, recovery, and rest. Ghetto2Garden takes care of cats and dogs with reduced potential for adoption; that are deformed, blind, unwanted, elderly, and/or are terminally ill.

The Ghetto2Garden initiative was developed initially in an attempt to find an appropriate shelter to house 6 cats and 40 dogs. Currently Ghetto2Garden houses 50 dogs and 10 cats who have been rescued from the streets of Santo Domingo and provides these animals with a care facility where they can live the rest of their days in peace and happiness. This student involvement in this project is the result of the collaboration between Colectivo Revark and the Practivistas Dominicana program in an attempt to bring sustainable construction and renewable energy to the construction of the shelter.

Location

Because Ghetto2Garden was in the process of finding a new site for the animal refuge, the project took place in La Yuca.

La Yuca del Naco, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Locationofturbine.png

Criteria

Table 1: Criteria

Criteria Weight (0-10) Constraints
Aesthetics 5 Must be acceptable to the client's vision
Durability 7 Maintenance must be simple with few necessary repairs
Mobility 5 Must be transportable to the location, partial set-up before arrival
Feasibility 9 Must be able to complete it, with easy construction within the time frame
Creativity 8 Must reflect the creativity shown in architectural plans
Energy Produced 10 Must be at least able to steadily produce 200 watts
Cost 7 Must be less than $1000 US
Security 10 Must be unobtrusive and obviously well secured
Figure 1: Solar Power Cube

Solar Power Cube

Colectivo ReVark, an experimental group that investigates applications of sustainable design and construction, designed a animal refuge for Ghetto2Garden. This animal refuge is designed to incorporate liquid shipping cubes as dog kennels which were coincidentally designed to double (or triple) as solar lighting cubes and a solar power cube. Other forms of alternative energy were considered, but solar energy turned out to be the most accessible and appropriate technology in this case.

Design and Construction Process

Figure 4: Cutting open liquid shipping container to insert "control board" and batteries

Design

  • Sizing the system
  • Resistance to the elements
  • Mobility
  • Security
  • Technical Issues

See Photovoltaics for more information about sizing a solar system, wire sizing, and the components of a system.

Construction

  • Cutting the cube
  • Joining the two panels
  • Mounting the panels
  • Soldering wires
  • Connecting the system together

Materials used:

  • Liquid shipping container
  • Solar panels
  • Invertor
  • Solar Charge Controller
  • Deep Cycle Batteries
  • Switch
  • Wire
  • Metal Bars

Components

Device Specifications Description Picture
Solar Panels Two 140W Panels in parallel Used to charge Two 6V batteries in series with 225AH
Solar Panels.JPG
Fuse 35A Fuse The fuse is used to protect the elements of the circuit
Fuse Housing.JPG
Solar Charge Controller 12/24V

30A

The Solar Charge Controller protects the batteries from being destroyed by the solar panels by opening the circuit when they are fully charged. Furthermore, it regulates the amperage at which the batteries are charged.
Solar Charge Controller.JPG
Switch 30 Amp The Switch is used to disconnect the batteries from the system if needed.
ESwitch.JPG
Deep Cycle Batteries Two 6V in series

225AH

The Batteries will be used to power a vaccination fridge and other miscellaneous uses.
Deep Cycle Batteries.JPG
Invertor 200W

12V

Used to convert Direct Current to Alternating Current.
Invertor.JPG
Liquid Shipping Container Roughly a cubic meter Solar array is mounted to the top and the cube is used to house batteries, invertor, as well as the charge controller.
Pallet Liquid Containers photo1.jpg
Electrical wires 8 gauge

10 gauge

10 gauge wire was used to connect panels to charge controller. 8 gauge was used to connect everything else.
Electrical Wire.JPG
Terminal Connectors Used to connect the batteries in series.
Terminal Connectors.JPG


Cost

Budget

Materials Unit Price (DOP) Quantity Cost (DOP) Cost (USD)
140 watt Solar Panel N/A 2 13,941 340.02
Solar Charge Controller 3,500 1 3,500 85.37
Deep Cycle Battery (6V) 4,000 2 8,000 195.12
Fuse and Housing 15 1 15 0.37
Switch 50 1 50 1.33
Inverter Donated 1 0 0
Electrical Wire 625 1 625 15.24


Battery terminal connectors 75 2 150 3.66
Liquid Shipping Container Donated 1 0 0
Total = ' ' 26,281 641

Important Instructions Read Before Use

  • Give cube more tilt to allow water to properly flow off of panels
  • Absolutely no more than 200 watts plugged into the inverter
  • During times of no sun, cut down on energy consumption
  • When connecting the system
    • 1st Connect the batteries to the charge controller
    • 2nd Connect the solar panels to the charge controller
    • 3rd Connect the inverter to the charge controller
  • The inverter has an on and off button
  • Be very careful around the battery terminals
  • The red wire is positive
  • The striped wire is negative

When Moving the Solar Cube

  • Remove the solar panel from the cube
  • Remove the batteries from the cube
  • Do not leave the disconnected panels facing the sun
  • Be careful with panel during transportation, it is fragile
Figure 1: Solar Lighting Cube

Video

[1]

Solar Lighting Cube

The solar lighting cube was originally thought to be a unit on top of each of the shelter structures that would provide lighting for the dog houses during approximately 3 hours without sun.

Design and Construction Process

Design

  • Resistance to Weather

*Flexibility of lights *Amount of light Produced *Unobtrusive

Construction

*Cutting the cube *Mounting the Bar *Installing the batteries *Mounting the lights

Materials used:

	*Donated Solar Lighting Units with Batteries

*Liquid Shipping Container *Aluminum Wire *Screws *Zip Ties

Components

Device Specifications Description Picture
Liquid Shipping Container Roughly a cubic meter Solar array is mounted to the top and the cube is used to house batteries, invertor, as well as the charge controller.
Solar lighting Systems Includes Solar panel and light These units were installed with two batteries and 3 lights per cube. Only one battery is necessary to run the lights. thumb


Budget

Video

[2]



Timeline

Date Activity Members
June 17 Criteria & Timeline Due Everyone
June 20 All research on Batteries, inverters, and complete construction process (including soldering) must be complete and uploaded to Appropedia. Also research the best angles for light to hit solar panels for max output. Everyone
June 22 Must have a meeting with Tomas by this date Everyone + RevArc
June 23 Make sure all materials and equipment is bought Simone & Will
June 28 Complete first panel and figure out optimal method of attachment. Everyone
July 1 Project completed Everyone
Week of July 1 Presentations Everyone

Literature Review

See the literature review here.