Students Build Solar
new energy | for and about students
Peace corps volunteer
nicholas hanson and his
students prepare a freshly
cast concrete solar still
tub for its coat of stucco.
The Cape Verde Islands in the tropical
Atlantic get an average 68 mm ( 3 inches)
of rain annually. The deep wells are now
contaminated with brine, so fresh water for
drinking, cooking, bathing and crop irrigation
now comes from expensive oil-fired desalination plants.
Happily, the islands enjoy about 3,000
hours of sunlight annually. The nation is an
ideal site for a solar desalination project.
Building the Clean Technology Industry
Because the Future is Now
“If everyone had one of
these, we wouldn’t have to
spend money for water.”
In 2007, Peace Corps volunteer Nicholas
Hanson, working with a team of civil construction students at the Grau Duque Henri
Technical School in Assomada, built a small
concrete still for about $210. It produced just
1.75 liters per day of fresh water. A second
version, with a 1-square-meter collector box
and a 0.7-square-meter preheater, went into
operation in July 2007, and produced 2. 5
liters of fresh water daily. It cost $214. Now
the group, aided by Peace Corps volunteer
Brian Newhouse, has designed an improved
model with a smoother-flowing preheater
design and a seven-stage evaporator. Materials — concrete, sheet metal, stucco, paint,
caulk, glass, plastic tubing and some wood for
concrete forms — will cost $275.
The goal: a design that can be replicated by
households throughout the islands. All they’ll
need to do is throw a bucket or two of seawa-ter into the still each day. As one student said,
“If everyone had one of these, we wouldn’t
have to spend money for water.”
The solar still team is eager to hear suggestions and comments from solar energy
experts. View their plans and a video of prototype construction at www.peacecorps.org.
cv/solar-project. Please send suggestions and
comments to email@example.com and bri.
firstname.lastname@example.org. — BRIAN NEWHOUSE
Rutgers Camden Technology Campus, Inc. •Aestus Therapeutics
Chromocell • Nistica • Signum Biosciences, Inc.
Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT)
IntegriChain • Celgene Corporation • Chromis Fiberoptics, Inc.
Archive Systems • Amicus Therapeutics • ECI Technology, Inc.
Supporting Companies Manufacturing Renewable Energy,
Clean and Energy-Efficiency Products in New Jersey
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) manages the
Edison Innovation Fund, a group of financial incentive vehicles brought
together to help life sciences, technology and biotechnology companies
thrive. A new addition to this group is the Edison Innovation Clean
Energy Manufacturing Fund, which supports the commercialization and
development of Class 1 renewable energy and energy efficiency systems,
products and technologies.
Grants for Project
Assessment and Design
Up to $300,000 is available as a grant
to assist with the manufacturing site
identification and procurement, design,
and permits. Twenty percent of the
grant is available as seed money.
Zero-Interest Loans for Project
Construction and Operation
Up to $3 million is available as a
zero-interest loan to support site
improvements, equipment procurement,
and facility construction and
completion, with an incentive to
convert up to one-third of the loan into
a performance grant.
To learn more about the Edison Innovation Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund,
visit www.njeda.com/CEMF or contact us directly.
Meeting Your Financial Needs is Just the Beginning
Through the Edison Innovation Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund, New
Jersey clean technology manufacturers can receive funding under two
separate components: project assessment and design, and project
construction and operation. In total, qualified businesses may be eligible
to receive up to $3.3 million in grants and interest-free loans.
For more information about doing business in New Jersey visit
www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov or call 866-534-7789