A simple PV power device has been granted Innovation Awards at 2109 CES (Consumer Electronics Show), held in Las Vegas, thanks to its potential benefit for schoolchildren in poor countries.
Developed by Yolk of South Korea, the device, dubbed as "Solar Cow," has a simple structure, with a steel frame, in the shape of a cow, topped by a solar panel, plus a hole-ridden round disk at bottom.
One idea for the application of the device is to install it at schools in poor countries, which lack adequate grid network, so that schoolchildren can plug in their mobile power supplies for charging and bring home for use after school. The benefit is supposed to encourage schooling among children in poor countries, rather than working as child laborers, which are estimated to number 150 million around the world.
Courtesy of Yolk
In cooperation with school authorities, Yolk have installed the device at some rural schools in Kenya, many of which are beyond the service of grid and are far away from charging stations. Such device has supplied to a considerable portion of the power need of many of those children's families, notably for mobile phones, flashlights, and radios. Statistics show that thanks to the service, local families have saved 20% in power bills and children no longer have to take a long walk, often four to six hours daily, to get to nearby charging stations to charge portable power supplies.
Courtesy of Yolk
Solar Cow consists of three parts: solar panel, PV cell storage equipment, and charging device, the latest featuring a modularized design, which facilitates detection, repair, and replacement. It is a closed system, preventing misplacement and stealth and can recognize user's identity, capable tracking the status of student attendance.
(Cooperative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of TechNews)