During this year’s GSBI, students from Radha Basu’s Engineering for the Developing World course engaged with the clean energy sector cohort social entrepreneurs to help solve their engineering challenges.
Students combined their knowledge of design principles for the developing world with the parameters set out by the entrepreneurs during a working group session, and solved problems ranging from designing system architecture and technical implementation of water telemetry tools for e-Health point water points in rural India, to determining the best solar heating system for a chicken hatchery in Haiti.
Whether the student teams addressed a problem set out by a GSBI entrepreneur, or created new products and distribution models for emerging markets, each team produced professional quality reports that displayed mastery of the factors germane to effective engineering in developing world contexts.
Team Hatchery designed a solar-powered heating system for a new chicken hatchery for Guirlaine Celius of Haiti Community Development. The new system will allow for simplified operation, minimal maintenance, high efficiency, and precise temperature control, which are all vital features to scaling Haiti Community Development’s impact on Haiti’s agricultural economy.
Team BGET created an analysis tool for water purification technologies designed for Salinee Tavaranan of Border Green Energy Team (BGET), to allow them to evaluate technologies based on cost, maintenance, simplicity, level of purification, etc. and choose the appropriate solution for the breadth of unique environments in which they works.
Team Soochak tackled the challenge posed by Al Hammond to provide water telemetry tools to e-Health Points' Water Points in rural India. They created concrete project parameters, conducted technology feasibility research for each functionality, provided three engineering solutions for automating water distribution, and proposed a phased implementation strategy to allow for upgrading as the facilities scale.
Team Vidya Vikas expanded from Al Hammond's guest lecture about e-Health Points, to create an education model to be co-located with e-Health Point facilities. Their solution utilized affordable mobile technology and existing educational content to provide low cost technical training for the most prevalent jobs in a given region.
Team Soladapt designed a portfolio of lighting products for off grid communities based on the recommendations and knowledge of Kamworks (GSBI’11) and Angaza Design (GSBI’11). They created product modules focused around a solar adaptor that allows customers to expand their lighting portfolios based on specific needs and income level.
Team Anna Sanchay created an innovative design for grain silos in rural Indian villages that reduce wasted grain, and thereby increase farmer income throughout the year, and provide greater food reliability for the community. Their design used local materials typically put in landfills, and created options for both small and large village needs.
Team Garbage to Harvest created a closed loop distribution solution for the bi-products of organic waste disposal. Their solution utilized the vermicompost and bio gas that are produced from organic waste decomposition, through a strategic distribution location they simultaneously improve farmers' crop yield, and encourage households to use bio-gas instead of hazardous kerosene.