Interesting winter project here at Klacko. We were contracted to aid in a design/build of a prototype aluminum enclosure for an autonomous charging station.a After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, they are now doing a second production run of the POWERBARR ARGON.
Made up of anodized aluminum, the enclosure is designed to be weather resistant and maintenance free. One of the main difficulties was designing an enclosure that was lightweigh and easy to transport with up to two 120lb batteries. It also required a setup that made maintenance easy and multiple upright configurations.
For more info check this awesome project at: www.powerbarr.com
From the Powerbarr Website:
Achieving a sustainable future requires a solution to the challenges of storage and distribution of renewable power such as solar. PowerBarr is solving the problem of storing intermittent sunlight and providing access to this energy in an easy and efficient way. PowerBarr converts energy from the sun by using solar photovoltaic panels, then stores it in sturdy electrochemical batteries that root the system safely to the ground.
PowerBarr takes direct current power (DC) from its batteries and sends it to your natively DC powered electronics. Without any conversions, and at native low voltages common to all phones and tablets, you make use of stored solar energy in the most efficient way possible. Technically, it just makes more sense and is more efficient to use energy as close to the source as possible, and taking it through as few conversions as possible. The electrical grid, for instance, typically loses 10% of the energy generated in transmission through the wires. In addition, conversion losses from alternating current (AC) to DC electricity required by your electronic devices also sustains losses from 5-20%, according to Scientific American (see the article here).