A prototype of the Sunsaluter panel

In most developing countries like Kenya where most homes are not connected to electricity, solar power is highly reliable.

When families buy the solar panels, all they look for is the power output. They do not know that the output is only maximum when the panel is directly facing the sun.

Most of the panels are flatly placed on the rooftop, hence the only they give maximum power is at noonday, when they are directly facing the sunlight.

This is exactly what inspired Inspirefest 2018 speaker and software/mechanical engineer Eden Full Goh to develop her SunSaluter device from cheap, recycled materials found across the globe.

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The SunSaluter is a solar panel rotator designed for the developing world. Using only the power of gravity and water, the SunSaluter enables a solar panel to follow the sun throughout the day, boosting efficiency by 30% and producing four liters of clean drinking water. It is 30 times less expensive than conventional motorized solar panel rotators, much more reliable, and consumes no electricity itself.

Here’s a video on how it is made:-

A part from maximising solar energy, the design can be used to provide safe water to those who need it the most. She announced on stage that while it was originally patented, it has been made open source for anyone to build.

“We’ve impacted 17,000 people so far,” she said, “but I’d really like us to expand our reach.”

Goh first tested the model in Kenya, before she improvised it and spread it in 19 countries.

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