NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: GCSE Project - Comments please!  (Read 277 times)

Sra

  • Joined Jun 2016
GCSE Project - Comments please!
« on: May 04, 2019, 09:04:49 pm »
One of my 15 year old pupils (Louis) has made the product in the attached PDF as a GCSE Design Project.  Basically it is a trolley with a solar panel and controller which charges a leisure battery.  The idea is you can easily move it around and set it up to power a variety of equipment. 

His brief (defined by the exam board) was to design a piece of equipment to be used in developing countries.  He was thinking along the lines of small farmers needing to power a temporary livestock electric fence, someone running a mobile phone charging stand in a market, or even powering a mini vaccine fridge for a visiting health worker.

It works - will recharge the battery fast enough in normal daylight to keep an electric fence energizer running or power a mini cooler. It is easy to move and the panel adjusts to any angle.

For his paperwork he needs to gather other people's opinions on what he has made so I promised to post this here for him - anything posted in the next 48 hrs he can screen shot and write up in his evaluation - if you can spare five minutes he would be very grateful.  He gave me the following questions to ask.


What do you think you could use it for?
Which parts do you think would break first or does anything look like it is not made well?
Is a £500 retail price to much for this product?
What improvements/modifications would you make?


Many thank,

Simon
Voss Electric Fence

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: GCSE Project - Comments please!
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 10:31:37 pm »
Portable solar rechargeable power station
Looking at the supplied photographs I note the following and suggest;
The solar panel may benefit from a stronger reinforced frame and some form of face protection to prevent damage from any inadvertent falls or flying objects.
If the charge controller has the capacity them maybe a larger leisure battery to still fit within the foot plate area.
Provide a socket arrangement and separate power lead that may quick release in the event of snagging of the power cable.
For safer maneuverability and improved stability consider  larger diameter and wider puncture proof wheel tyre combination
I would prefer to see more  reinforcing / bracing of the welds on the frame and the tyres addressed

Fitting of an anti theft provision might be considered both to the battery and electronics and the unit as a whole appropriate to its theatre of operation.

This unit appears to be a quite adaptable renewable power source , it looks to be easy  to  transport and importantly due to its simple design easy to maintain and repair.
The nature of the design lends its self to quick deployment and require minimal training to set up and operate.

Uses , bearing in mind it utilises a leisure battery and has a good discharge capacity available,
it would be suitable for remote applications where a 12 volt or even  short term operation of a solid state inverter to provide 240v can be supplied.
Operations such as electronic equipment recharging, phones / laptops/tablets .
Operation of radio communication and navigation equipment.
Powering of LED lighting , livestock control fencing,medical equipment.

Overall I like the concept.
As for the pricing depending on the targeted customer base and volume it could be brought down.
As a one off £500 is a little high bearing in mind now the design concept is now “out there” it can easily be replicated .
Its a simple design and that’s its strength .




pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: GCSE Project - Comments please!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2019, 11:47:23 am »
I agree with R the B. It's a nice simple idea bt once out there easily replicated. I had a quick look on ebay and for £274 one can buy a 200W 20A panel and controller (OK it was 18v and that needs to come down for a 12v battery) but add a sack truck and battery and bulk buy and £400 is tops and even that would be a massive investment in the third world. You could probably get that price down substantially if buying and assembling and selling in a third world country (since everything here costs more than it should) but theft would be the big problem - if it's mobile it's gone, if it's 'dissassembleable' it's gone in bits.
there's bit around here where an item like that would go overnight


Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: GCSE Project - Comments please!
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2019, 03:41:20 pm »
I think NGO's  and aid organizations would be the target customer.
Theft is the biggest concern , in "other " countries the locals are ingenious and can and will use and adapt anything thats easy to acquire .
 pgkevet I see your £400 and reduce you to £180 , no vat and parts from Asia. Assembly cost in the right country very low.
I like the idea and when I get an idle afternoon may knock one up my self.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: GCSE Project - Comments please!
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 05:47:57 pm »
 I like the initial idea, but quite honestly, who in a third world country would be able to afford it, when there is always the old fashioned way of moving things - a wheelbarrow.  We use a wheelbarrow to move our fence energiser around, and adding a solar array would be easy enough.  I am worried too about how tall Louis' setup is. It looks as if it would be easily knocked over by children or animals, heavy sack trolley or not.  Overall though it's a splendid idea and probably just what the exam markers are looking for
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: GCSE Project - Comments please!
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2019, 09:53:14 pm »
I disagree, put it in a wheelbarrow and the barrow will get redeployed , I wouldn't think Louis's set up is top-heavy , the solar panel would be quite light compared to the heavy leisure battery on the footplate.

I don't think the residents of third world countries will be the purchaser rather the NGOs or AID charities,rather like the ubiquitous white 4x4's supplied by relief agency's that get repurposed as gun platforms at some time , allegedly

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: GCSE Project - Comments please!
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2019, 10:23:01 pm »
I think NGO's  and aid organizations would be the target customer.
Theft is the biggest concern , in "other " countries the locals are ingenious and can and will use and adapt anything thats easy to acquire .
 pgkevet I see your £400 and reduce you to £180 , no vat and parts from Asia. Assembly cost in the right country very low.
I like the idea and when I get an idle afternoon may knock one up my self.


The £400 was for knocking one up UK.. agree cheaper still almost anywhere else than rip-off Britain. Perhaps better to keep the panels safely fixed at base (up a long pole wrapped in razor wire) and have 2 batteries so one's on charge while the other is deployed.
... hmmm suppose the pole would get nicked for the razor wire...

 

Winter Project: Kubota Tractor

Started by Scrumble The Goose

Replies: 6
Views: 2929
Last post September 20, 2012, 12:47:59 pm
by Scrumble The Goose

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS