Modular Power to the People: Democratising Energy Access through Modular Power Electronics Systems

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The goal of this exchange activity is to create an open-source power converter that can be used in the implementation of self-built wind turbines as well as for other technologies. Members of the practitioner network WindEmpowerment (WE) use the self-built wind turbine design invented by Hugh Piggott. While the wind turbine design itself is freely available for construction, installation and usage, the converters needed to use the electricity are not. Consequently, the project addresses a direct need of the WindEmpowerment network (WE). In conjunction with the technical solution, diffusion activities and a market assessment will help to increase the awareness amongst potential user groups. The specific objectives of the project are:  

  • To conduct a general study/exchange among the participants about their technical needs and the construction of a power converter prototype
  • To specify, design and implement the elements of the converter
  • To carry out a field test at a project site in South America
  • To establish a manual, webinar and workshops about the developed and tested open-source converter
  • To conduct a market assessment
  The main outcomes of the project will be a manual and a webinar about the developed and tested open-source converter. The project will be conducted by the Technology Working Group of the WindEmpowerment community. This group involves six students and fosters a collaboration between three South American (QMAX, WindAid and INTI) and three European (PureSelfMade, ACE and Re-Innovation) members of the Wind Empowerment community. The project duration is six months, starting in May 2016.

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