The SunSaluter

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The SunSaluter is a ultra low cost solar tracker designed for the developing world. Using only the power of gravity and water, the SunSaluter enables a solar panel to rotate and follow the sun throughout the day, boosting efficiency by 40%. The SunSaluter utilizes a simple water clock to control the flow of water from a container which is suspended from the solar panel. As the water empties and one side gets lighter, the panel slowly rotates.The SunSaluter can also be fitted with a water filter to provide clean drinking water. The SunSaluter utilizes a simple water clock to control the flow of water from a container which is suspended from the solar panel. As the water empties and one side gets lighter, the panel slowly rotates.

The SunSaluter’s frame can be made from bamboo, metal, or other inexpensive materials. This makes it sustainable and affordable, and if the SunSaluter malfunctions, it can be repaired locally. This ensures that the SunSaluter will never let the user down; which is critical when a family invests in a SunSaluter and relies on it to generate income. We also have a large automatic model which supports solar panel arrays up to 1.2kW and uses a water pump for hands-free operation. It is 99.99% energy efficient, consuming 300 times less energy than motorized trackers. For eg:- a kerosene lamp emits 0.1 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Assuming each kerosene lamp can be eliminated by a solar lantern with a one watt panel, then a SunSaluter installed on a typical 100 watt panel generating an extra 30 watts of energy to power 30 lanterns can eliminate three tons of CO2 emissions per year. Therefore 6.6 million SunSaluters are needed to save 20 million CO2 emissions per year. With over 2 gigawatts of off-grid solar already installed worldwide, the solar infrastructure is already in place to be easily retrofitted with our inexpensive technology. At a target cost of $10 per SunSaluter paid for by each system, this could be accomplished for $66M.

We have deployed over 155 SunSaluters in 19 countries as part of a two year pilot phase, with 10,000 people positively impacted. We have established local manufacturing operations in Bangalore and concluded the deployment of 50 SunSaluters for our pilot phase. From there we grew operations and distribute the SunSaluter to solar system integrators, off-grid solar companies, non-profits, and residential consumers. We have also established distribution operations in Malawi, with plans to identify more manufacturing and distribution partners in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

SunSaluter has received awards from the Westly Prize, Mashable-UN Foundation Startups for Social Good Challenge, Project Inspire by Singapore Committee of UN Women (Finalist), OpenIDEO Renewable Energy Challenge, MIT Climate CoLab Grand Prize, Postcode Lottery Green Challenge (2nd), Staples-Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneurship Challenge (grand prize), Rolex Awards for Enterprise (Finalist), The Tech Awards and the William James Foundation 2014 sustainable business plan competition (Finalist).SunSaluter is featured in Forbes, New York Times, NPR, Business Insider, Mashable, Entrepreneur, TreeHugger, Greenpeace, NextBillion.

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  • Awards

  • 2016 Sustainable Technologies Honorable Mention
  • 2016 Top 100 Entries

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Eden Full Goh
  • Type of entry:
    team
    Team members:
    Phil Hannam, Rachel Han, Victor Liu, Victoria Alleyne, Anuradha Dhavala, Serena Xu, (Board Members). Andie Goh (Fundraising, Financial Planning and Forecasting). Sambit Sasmal (Director). Santosh Ku. Jha (Production Engineer). Promise Daniel Chidothe (Regional Coordinator)
  • Profession:
    Business Owner/Manager
  • Eden is inspired by:
    I started as a high school science project, and have since grown to an award-winning 501(c)(3) non-profit organization SunSaluter which aims to decrease energy poverty and improve access to clean water through local technology entrepreneurship. While on the surface SunSaluter addresses energy poverty and clean water, I am inspired with the many issues that are interrelated and have direct and indirect causes and solutions on both individual and systemic levels. There are many challenges associated with our target demographic of users who both lack electricity and access to clean water which motivates me to innovate new design in my product.
  • Software used for this entry:
    crystal ball
  • Patent status:
    patented