Solar energy charges small appliances

Keegan Cordeiro – a 16-year old young designer from White River – is a runner-up in the Young Designers category of Eskom’s 2011 etaAwards for his solar system that can

Keegan Cordeiro

charge cell phones and run various small appliances that require 220V of alternating current and use a two-prong plug.

His invention uses an inverter that releases a voltage, the solar panel charges a battery which is 12V DC (Direct current), the inverter charges the DC current to 220V AC (Alternative current) which is needed by many appliances. After he spent time to research and calculate what the size of the inverter was, he managed to build a 20W inverter which charges a cell phone and various other small appliances. He also built a circuit for USB ports which is able to charge and power USB devices.

The solar powered charging and supply unit consists of a 15W solar panel, a 12V battery, a 20W inverter, a regulator which protects the battery from being overcharged and also warms you when the battery charge is low as well as a female USB port and a switch and twin plug. In 2010 the cost of a 10W panel was R607 and today the cost for the same panel is R300. It would be cost effective to manufacture a solar powered charging and supply unit for the public.

Keegan’s plan is to sell the product at a reasonable price to people living in the rural areas and to improve the design.