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Communal Solar Charger

I designed a communal solar charging solution that is accessible to high school students who manage many extracurriculars and stay in school till evening, requiring charging for their phones. This was my major project for IB Higher Level Design Technology.

Design Problem

In this day and age, we rely heavily on our cellphones for many essential tasks. An inherent problem that comes with energy-guzzling smartphones is running out of battery. Students and the broader College community require shade and charging for their phones, especially in the evening for students staying back late.

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images above showing solar irradiance map demonstrating how Singapore's intensity of sunlight would be apt for solar panels

Design Brief

I intend to design a communal solar charging solution that is accessible to a percentile range of 5%-95% (body measurements, field of reach, etc.) students who manage many extracurriculars and often stay in school till evening. The solution will provide crucial charging needed for their technology integrated lives and shade from the heat, serving as a meeting place for shared and private conversations.


Basic Specs | Initial Research

Full specifications

Market Research
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Idea Generation
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thick/thin lines, copic markers, CAD/CAM

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Development of Shape and Form

Images showcasing the 2 different bench models that were prototyped

Affordance, Anthropometrics, Ergonomics
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Converging and iterating the final idea
Developing (many) prototypes 

Laser cut, CNC and prototyping using MDF


Aluminium frame

Final CAD


Electric Circuit

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Final Product
  • Seek feedback early and often -- test the ergonomics and interaction even with early prototypes.

  • Don't think about practicalities and restraints during ideation. Ideation in itself is a process of diverging. Allow yourself to fully diverge before converging.

  • Ask for help and admit your best efforts might not be enough -- I really leaned on the support network of the Design Technology department to help me understand how the final product would come together. 

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