CalEarth dome residents are able to prop up low-cost homes made of earth material but electricity and water supply still needs to be set up. Taking supply form the grid or municipality is a big issue because -
- Such Localities are located far from urban areas
- It involves paperwork which is problematic for refugees
To solve this issue I propose a hybrid solar-cum-wind generator setup that does among other things-
- Electricity generation
- Water Purification
- Solar cooking
- Heating of water
- Water purification
My solution involves a modular windmill with blades based on shadow effect solar panels mounted atop a CalEarth dome. The energy generated would charge a generic lead acid battery placed inside the dome which then powers all appliances in the dome.
Since many refugees are also involved in cottage industries, a gear mechanism would be provided to directly use wind energy to rotate a flywheel or a piston mechanism, ie common devices used in this kind of work.
A transparent plastic open-top water tank would be placed at the foot of the windmill and would help collect rain water. It would illuminate the interiors of the dome during the day while not heating up the interiors. The collected water can be used for all household tasks.
The shadow effect solar panels are based on a research paper by NUS in which gold palted silicon has been used to create a solar panel that generates electricity based on the luminous gradient over the surface. In simple terms, if light is shone on one side of the panel and the other side is kept in darkness(read less intense light) electricity is produced. The technology offers cheaper and more efficient electricity generation and many manufacturers are lining up to get such panels in the market as soon as possible.
How would I implement this in my design?
The rotation of the blades by wind would periodically expose some part of the panel to sunlight while the other part is in darkness without external effort. In this way, a luminous gradient would always be maintained and electricity would be produced