Small Vertical Solar Units (SVSUs)
To bring citizens--US & worldwide--into the "conversion to renewable energy" process, we need Small Vertical Solar Units. (Think of them as sort of like R2-D2s, but different.) These units could be mass produced, & purchased & installed in backyards & on building tops everywhere. Their solar cells would go up vertically, not horizontally, and work all day long--if designed to follow the sun--to produce a small-but-significant percentage of the electricity needs of, especially, households. Since they could be purchased & installed at relatively small cost, additional units could be purchased--or rented--& installed almost without limit, until, theoretically, all household--& EV automobile--electricity needs are met. Heights would vary.
The idea of SVSUs would include several facts: (1) Solar cell units for backyards and other sites are usually thought of a requiring large horizontal spaces, in order to be effective; (2) IF these solar cell units could go "up" vertically, rather than "out" horizontally, the same amount of "sun capture" could be had--and perhaps even more, given the possibility of maximizing the horizontal site footprint; (3) citizens need small units that can be sited here and there, and yet not take up too much horizontal space; (4) people in developing countries--especially--need such units, by the tens-of-millions--right now.
In conclusion, we've got to stop thinking of large, on-the-grid types of solar electricity generators, and expensive, on-the-roof types, and start thinking in terms of small, vertically configured units that can be installed almost anywhere and are able to proliferate across the land.
What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?
This idea benefits citizens everywhere, in an immediate, financial sense; but also it would benefit citizens everywhere in that it would greatly reduce the burning of coal and other fossil fuels for electrical power.
How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?
It would make small, vertical solar units affordable to everyday citizens. Anyone with a small space open to the sun would be able immediately to cut down on the electric bill, and help battle climate change.
What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?
Probably none. We live in an apartment in the city, and I do not have a shop for experimentation.
What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?
I would like to be included in the "think tank" for developing the idea, as I have certain designs in mind and just love the idea, but I am not concerned with idea proprietorship or other personal gain. SVSUs need to be invented and produced, if we are going to stop catastrophic climate change.
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