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Solar Power Project

A project to explore grid tie power to power schools in developing countries

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Overview

 
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Solar Project Live Monitor
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The MVNU Computer Science department has a continuing project to work with technologied in schools. This project started with creating internet connected computer labs for schools. We soon discovered that the cost of electricity, which is high in Belize, was problematic for schools with very limited. Thus we began exploring solar solutions to augment available power, and thus reduce or eliminate the costs of electricity for the schools.

Grid Tie Solar Power

The majority of the schools we work with have electricity, and these typically schools are only in session during the day. A common solution is the store electricity in batteries, and then run of the batteries when it is night, or the sun is otherwise not shining. However, batteries are expensive, have a short life (2-5 years), and typically contain toxic materials which create problems at the end of life. The solution we adopted was to use a "Grid Tie" solution. This design converts solar enrgy directly to 120v AC, and adds it to the circuits being supplied from the grid. The system is designed to first use the energy created by the solar panels, and then suppliment this with power from the grid as needed. Thus such a solution will lower the power usage, but still allow the use of electricity when there is no solar energy available.

Solar Project Live Monitor

 
 
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