Solar Thermal Exhaust Generated Stored Power for Lighting

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My idea came to me as I was leaving home for work on June 20th. I looked at my house as I pulled out of the drive way and noticed my roof exhaust fan spinning away and I thought, too bad we couldn’t harvest the energy it wastes. So the idea came to me on the way to work to store the energy and use it constructively.

My design has the potential to provide cheap efficient stored power to a variety of areas with a low maintenance potential. It can benefit low income families with no access to community power sources to typical homes wanting to lower energy usage and add security and safety to the home. With the idea used for generating public lighting, it would add security and safety in a low maintenance unit requiring no power grid. It has the potential to save individuals, corporations and public entities money on the initial units and their long term maintenance using low cost, medium technological parts. Their use would help decrease the consumption of natural resources for the power source. It has the potential to generate stored power for other uses including lighting for the poor.

This idea combines commercially available technologies to potentially provide stored energy for lighting and other uses in a variety of marketable forms. The end product would use solar thermal generated air movement to power an exhaust fan attached to a small generator. This in turn would charge a battery that would be used to power an LED light system or similar low voltage device.

The thermal energy would be provided by solar heated air moving through an attic space as a side effect of heated roof. It may also be derived from a solar heated tube designed for air flow to generate public lighting or by stove exhaust and potentially as hot air exhaust and light generation for third world and underprivileged 1 room dwellings having no energy source.

As a combination of commercially available materials, it would be easily assembled. Minimal manufacturing of a fan to motor adapter, fabrication of a solar energy absorbing light post and the assorted mounting and plastic enclosures.

There are numerous markets available depending on the unit’s configuration and the area of use. Initial marketing might include Public Lighting, Home safety and perimeter lighting and small area indoor lighting. Additional Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) could purchase and donate units to low income families in areas that have no available power sources. There are other areas that this generated power maybe used for.

Cost Effectiveness:
Initial cost of materials would vary depending on the system configuration. It would start as low cost lighting to homes and areas without power to easily maintained/ long lasting public area lighting.

Included is a sampling of some of the potential uses.

Submitted by: Alan James Vaughn


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  • Name:
    Alan Vaughn
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    Pencil, Pen, Ruler and My Mind
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    I've enjoyed drawing since I was very young and it grew from there to enjoying art and design. I like solving problems like the bicycle frame used to set a world record by Michael Secrest that required a 92 tooth front chain ring to designing an off-road bicycle trailer. Solving problems and fixing things is one of the enjoyable aspects of my day job as a Quality Assurance/ Environmental Safety Manager at an Aerospace Coatings firm.
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