Solar powered school lighting and computer system

Ian Soutar

We have developed and tested a school power system meant for developing countries. A working model was built in a house in Esquimalt and has been tested for about one year.

Using solar panels for power, nickel iron batteries for storage and leading edge DC LED lights the system has an expected lifespan of about 30 years without battery replacement.

The concept is to buld an Edison style power system that is low voltage DC throughout. Since it is all low voltage it is impossible for anyone to be electrocuted while working on the system and doing maintenance. Going totally DC gives maximum efficiency for such a system and Nickel Iron batteries do not expose developing countries to the pollution that lead acid batteries would cause. It is both environmentally friendly and safer than anything currently available.

The hardware design will be open source and available to the UN or other groups offinger aid to developing countries.

About Ian Soutar:

Ian Soutar is a mechatronics product designer and founded Microsec Research and Development Inc. in 1986. In the early 1980s he worked at the NRC and developed solar thermal products through Norsun Solar in Ottawa and later worked at the National Research Council of Canada on solar thermal and solar voltaic research. He has been awarded some half dozen patents for designs over the last 20 years and specializes in finding the simplest approach to solving problems with microcontrollers or single chip computers. Radio and communication technology are a special area of interest. Ian is currently involved with Palcan Fuel Cells developing a control system to simplify the usage of hydrogen systems by making them almost as easy to use as batteries.

In 2007 Ian worked with Jim Harrington of Victoria to create Canada’s first hydrogen assisted sailboat. Ian is also the founder of the Nickel Iron Battery Association which is re-introducing the Edison Cell to the Solar Industry for the storage of power. These remarkable batteries have a lifespan that can reach 100 years and are the only environmentally friendly battery known.

Currently Microsec R&D Inc. is focusing on alternate energy control systems design. Ian is a beekeeper and is working to discover ways to prevent the “Colony Collapse Syndrome” that has killed many honeybees recently.

Ian has patents on a number of devices ranging from medical and industrial tools, games, agricultural tools and communication systems. He specializes also in radio communication.

2011 IdeaWave