“The birth of this idea came during the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. I was contacted by a friend of a friend who was involved in radiation monitoring in that part of Japan. Their battery powered radiation monitors required Blackhawk helicopter flights (at $$$/hour) to replace batteries and he wanted a ruggedized portable solar power pack that could be deployed by non-expert soldiers. The Japanese government restored power before I had finished the design but the idea stayed with me. I have designed and prototyped a similar system for powering a network of medical clinic communication nodes in Malawi. I’d like to fabricate a working prototype of a single-person portable, rugged solar power pack. My rough estimate is that the major electrical parts (PV module, charge controller, inverter, battery) would cost around $450. There would be incidental costs for connectors, wire, adhesives, and similar supplies. The finished device would produce 12 volt DC and 120 volt AC power.”
We’re looking forward to sharing more about what Hilton accomplished at Generator during his residency. If you’d like to hear more about Hilton, his work, and our Maker In Residence opportunities, sign up for our newsletter.