Introduction Given the current energy crisis and increasing need for sustainable energy. I endeavor to create a cost effective, small-scale electrical generator which could be used to power consumer electronics. Solar energy has proven its worth as an alternative energy source because it is low-impact and emission free. It has been implemented with much success for power grids with hundreds of acres of enormous solar concentrations. In the small-scale, solar energy has been harvested through the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels and have been used to power anything from an iPod to a residential home .
Although PV systems are considered part of the green energy revolution, materials utilized for it construction (like silicon) are extremely dangerous to the environment and much care must be taken to ensure that they are recycled properly. PV cells also only utilize the energy stored in specific wavelengths of light and therefore have an approximate efficiency between 14-19%. Sunlight, however, produces immense amounts of heat which only serves to heat up the surface of the solar cell. Although there are some PV cells that have reached efficiency levels over 40% (world record is 41.6%), they are enormously complex and expensive .
Cell phones have become an extremely popular device in the entire world and it is easy to say they are part of our daily lives. In the year 2010 there was an estimate of over 4.6 billion cell phones worldwide and the number has been growing by more than a billion ever since; this translates to more than half the world’s population. Both the developed and the developing world countries are buying more cell phones, but it is in developing countries where the cell phone growth stays the strongest . However, cell phones need electric sources to charge their batteries in order to work, but there are people in developing and third world countries that find it hard to access electric sources. For example, one resident of a village in Tanzania describes how he takes all seven of the village‘s mobiles down to a nearby town with electricity to charge all seven mobiles. Obviously, this is quite different than what we see in the United States or other developed countries. Their inability to access a centralized power grid is due to either or the combinations of two things; the cost of constructing transmission lines to their homes, or the inability to construct transmission lines due to their location.In an attempt to provide an alternative means of charging to those unfortunate areas in third world and developing countries, a solar powered multiple cellphones charging booth is to be designed and constructed in this project. However, the focus of this project is specifically to design and construct a multiple cell phones charger powered by solar energy.
Solar power is the practical add-on to the existing sources of energy. It effectively supplements the current sources of energy. With intelligent designs, the solar cells can be integrated into the final consumer electronic or portable devices. This reduces the dependence of recharging these with the electricity, thus making this ideal choice for the locations where electricity may not be actually available. The solar panels are costly today but their costs are coming down to affordable levels. Also many a times the government aids are available especially for the remote areas .
With the solar panels being available in various form factors, a range of consumer electronic devices making use of the solar panels are making entry into the market place and it is expected that this trend would continue in the future. As of now there are speakers, earphones, calculators and other small power consuming devices already available. The trend is to integrate the solar power in the small form factor that enhances the battery life and acts as an additional source of energy to supplement the battery power from other sources. As the efficiency of the solar panels and conversion would become better, a lesser area would be able to generate more energy and
eventually the solar charging may become the sole energy source in many consumer devices .
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