Development of a Solar Aid Box for Underserved Communities in the Remote Areas in the West Bank in Palestine
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An estimated 16% of the world’s population do not have access to electricity, and most of them live in rural areas. A reliable energy access for rural communities will help them break out of the cycle of poverty and empowers significant socio-economic benefits. Specifically, the energy sector situation in Palestine suffers from scarcity of traditional energy sources, financial crisis and unstable political conditions. Meanwhile, Palestine has high solar energy potential and an annual average solar radiation of about 5.4 kWh//m2/day. This article provides a solution by designing a solar home system represented by a small, lightweight, decentralized and autonomous generation with a combination of four different electric appliances to cover several basic needs. The design is assessed by using the product design knowledge as this publication presents an overview of the approach used in structuring and using product design tools/techniques leading to shape formulation of system which is called SolenX. The paper also examines a business model that creates a heuristic logic to connect technical potential with the realization of economic value while addressing the total estimated manufacturing cost of $416 per unit. SolenX is powered by a 60 W foldable solar panel with a battery capacity of 0.480 kWh.