4.28.2010

Eco-Tuesday Cleveland Rocks! Featuring Chris Clark from Sunflower Solutions

Chris started things off by sharing the vision behind Sunflower Solutions. His invention is amazingly straight forward and he builds a strong case for simplicity of design. Conventional solar trackers with servo motors, microchips, and maintenance contracts have so many moving parts because they are adjusting some 60,000 times per day....over engineered for sure.

Chris's solution is the world first manually adjustable system of its kind. Radical simplicity that must be driving down the cost of P.V. installations in Africa while driving up efficiency of the panels by some 40% over a fixed installation (like on the roof your your next house). Not only that but have you ever tried to hunt for a spare servo in Haiti post quake?

His customers are NGOs operating in the 100-130 billion U.S.D. per year aid/ relief effort market targeting third world countries. Systems are going on line in Haiti to power hospitals as well. The system in Haiti has a 3 month payback period because the price of fuel is so high. His competition is the combustion powered generator market. Cheap but fuels is not cheap there, just like in other third world locales. His product has fewer moving parts compared with traditional solar tracking systems and generators alike. Far more akin to the solid state nature of P.V. today.

The system is so well balanced, I could adjust it with one hand, moving seemingly hundreds of pounds of P.V. and support rack.
These systems are providing power to some of the worlds most remote places and to those most in need. They are powering a small cybercafe to get folks online where users pay a small fee to access the web. Proceeds go directly to a nearby orphanage for children with AIDS.

Here is the system to guide the users through alignment with the sun.


video
This video shows just how agile the system is and how easily it moves.

Kudos to Sudhir and the Eco-Tuesday Cleveland team for another job well done. I really enjoyed learning about Sunflower Solutions. Its nice to meet businesses hell bent on pushing the next industrial revolution. Looking forward to hearing about Tremont Electric at the next Eco-Tuesday

No comments: