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Fellows design low cost solar panels for use in Ghana

Research Achievements

Fellows design low cost solar panels for use in Ghana

During the first international externship to Ghana last year, our IGERT fellows learned that many Ghanaians who do not have electricity in their homes still own cellular telephones, and rely on central recharging stations. The IGERT fellows had the idea to work together to develop low cost solar panels that can be used as cell phone chargers in off-grid applications. All of the current IGERT fellows recently worked with Dr. Richard Komp of Maine Solar to design solar panels that can be constructed on site using inexpensive, non-specialized equipment. Dr. Komp has extensive experience as a solar energy consultant worldwide, including South American and African countries where infrastructure is minimal. The students successfully fabricated and tested panels at Rochester. The second cohort of IGERT fellows will be bringing the supplies needed to fabricate the panels with them on their Ghanaian externship, and will teach some local people how to fabricate and use them.