System Design For Social Venture

danasa

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
5
Hello All,

I hope it is not rude to start my first post too strong!

My name is Daniel, I am one of those unreasonable individuals that want to start a social venture to solve societal challenges.

Specifically, I come from a place(Africa) where national grid supply blackout is the norm.

My Challenge is to design a very efficient, customize-able solar system skeleton that can be added on and taken off as required yet very dirty cheap to help SMEs get off relying on national grid supply nor fossil fuel electricity generators.

It has to be portable, ideally, but of course some SME will opt for a heavy system that will not be portable.

The idea is to provide continuous electricity during business hours of roughly 8 - 12 hours per day. The remaining hours of the day, they can make do with lighting, if they want a 24 hour system, they'd know they have to pay heavier.

I am not targeting rich persons or corporations. I am targeting small guys on the street doing petty businesses, small business centers, barbers, food stands, etc.

For a relatively efficiently tailored system from a skeleton, they will reduce their electricity cost. We can have skeletal designs for different products based on load requirements and uptime.

Please if you are experienced in building solar solutions and are interested in this venture contact me. I am not solar technician, but a person that wants to solve real problems for people to give them enabling environment for their businesses to thrive. This will have a spill over effect, when they enjoy the solar solution in their business, organic demand will sprout, they will want it in their home, they will tell others through word of mouth, this way our base will broaden.

In case you are wondering, yes there are solar firms there, the problem is the cost of their system. The upfront cost is astronomical, most SME can't pay upfront for ownership. This is why, we have to squeeze it cheap from the system design level, all things considered. And will will look for other means to reduces initial cost of owning a solar power system via other means.

In case you are wondering, it is a for-profit social venture. The profit will mostly be reinvested into the venture to grow the awareness and expansion.

Interested to help people? Contact me.

Email; monitorinvestor8@gmail.com
 

curiouscarbon

Science Penguin
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
2,143
dear @danasa, cool project, may it go well.

can you share more about what kind of loads? 2000W cooking device? AC inverter?

only running during day reduces battery need as you say, but still can be good to have a small buffer for clouds and critical big appliances

good luck!
 

danasa

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
5
Given that no two SME or petty business will have same load nor runtime, that is why a skeleton is to be built. A kinda plug and play system for different load ranges...it has to be quickly added on and customized as a plug and play system.

We will have on-ground technician to access load requirement and runtime per outlet. This way we will pick one of our Skeleton Power System and customize it by adding on adequate component wattage, etc.

Example of Skeleton Power System , my thinking...not final;

1. Micro Load Skeleton; such as only lighthing required for energy efficient LED bulbs. A skeleton can be build for this. In fact, due to battery cost. I was thinking of direct-coupled system with small battery buffer for these clients. Example a shop that need lighting, the system can be simple solar panel, buck converter, micro DC storage buffer that can last for say 30 minutes should the direct sunlight does not give enough DC, this buffer will be drawn, when sunlight picks up, it charges the buffer and supply electricity simultaneously.

2. Medium Load Skeleton; this is in the mid-range. A skeleton that will definitely provide for battery. As a note, we will use the most cost effective battery with long life-span, example LiFePO4. I would be ashamed to tell these guys to change battery every 2-3 years, the purpose would be defeat and we would have achieved nothing. After accessment, we will plug-in right sized components, just right for that outlet. Inverter can be ranged from 200 - 1500Watt.

3. Heavy Load Skeleton; this is the high end of it. This can scale as much as the client wants. 1500Watt inverter and above and even battery bank.

Stand alone renewable electrical power systems built(assembled), installed and maintained in the environment of service.
 

curiouscarbon

Science Penguin
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
2,143
thank you for the insight into sizing. wishing you well and i’m not sure how to help exactly but solar electricity independence is great! ☮️☀️
 

danasa

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
5
I'm doing an online course now: Global Social Entrepreneurship. I have assignment to speak to a Solar Expert/Technician on design detail. And come up with acceptable design.

If you have the skill, please allow me to interview and work with you on this, it is simultaneously my assignment and document for me to use to design/build this project.

@curiouscarbon and others that have the technical know how, please contact me so we can schedule this interview at your convenience.

I know, I am asking much for no pay, but, use this opportunity to leave a mark on earth by going out of our natural selfish ways to help others. Life of adventure and solving people problem is more fun and rewarding.

Contact me if you can help me in this aspect.

Thank you.
 

curiouscarbon

Science Penguin
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
2,143
I am not available for phone discussion; happy to continue this thread!

At the very least, solar panel, dc regulator, and LED would be necessary for the smallest skeleton system.

maybe one 18650 cell? that needs 1cell charger but those are pretty commodified.

some LED might be able to run directly from battery voltage rather than need regulation. could save on parts there

are they in an open area with no shadow, or on a street? solar roof stand with wheels? edit: example: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32968342724.html this one says it can be light for up to 8 hours after dark if it absorb enough sunlight. battery is 1200mAh solar panel 0.6 watt
1621720776030.jpeg

if you share more information about what places you get parts from, i can search if it’s a website for parts 🌱

i really like this design space.

would be nice to have modular system to have granular cost and good match to each person needs
 
Last edited:

45North

Let it shine!
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
534
Location
Canada
Did you see wills off the shelf designs?
Suggest you start with them and mix and match from there.
Do you have access to international aid workers? I know some of them know about well pumps for example. Mebb they could help, and they're local so you can meet up and show them what you're thinking.
Also look for a sourcing person to get good prices.
 

danasa

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
5
@curiouscarbon @45North Thank you very much for your contributions. Every bit will help, I am Solar Noob, and I sincerely wanna bring solution to people without having to turn a technician. You don't run the mill by running the mill. So all your good contributions are great. I wanna focus on the human side of bringing satisfactory tailored solution that really improve lives, so I really need your help guys on the technical side.

@curiouscarbon not available for phone discussion, how about a chat, Whatsapp/Discord/etc.

@45North checking out the off-shelf designs. Still on the high side.

Thanks
 

45North

Let it shine!
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
534
Location
Canada
@45North checking out the off-shelf designs. Still on the high side.
Mebbe you could get some microlending to pay for it. Presumably most of your stuff will come from China so you need to identify good sources and supply chains for that. (Does Africa import directly from China, or does your stuff come through a third country, like Europe)

Also, you could set up a set of sample systems, small med and large, as you've outlined, to demonstrate to your small and medium business clients how they work and help them choose the one appropriate for their use case.

Edit: You also may want to offer some kind of training in the design/selection, operation, and maintenance of small solar systems. Also courses in basic electricity would help as a prerequisite.

Another alternative you may want to consider is community solar - the idea of getting groups of users to share a system. Gain efficiencies in setup and operation.

This is an interesting project you're embarking on but I can see many aspects to consider - chief among them limited funding!

Edit2: You should also consider writing a Business Plan. It will help you to clarify what you're trying to do and will be useful if you want to approach investors for seed money.
 
Last edited:

45North

Let it shine!
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
534
Location
Canada
This exists.
Does it really exist, or is it just proposed?
Real, or vapourware: this has been kicking around now for over a year!
Seems to be a crowd-funded product that still hasn't shipped yet.

 

HappyJoeDharma

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
1
@danasa,

Hey, I saw your thread today. I'm also a social entrepreneur. How is the solar project going? What do you need today?

Good to make your acquaintance,
Joe
 
Top