Sunplugged solar-powered bins are mobile, relatively lightweight, and easily adapted to different functions. The completed prototype featured in this post has a solar panel fitted to the lid of the heavy duty rubbish bin and a car battery that is hooked up to an inverter that converts the battery’s DC current into a 220V AC electrical current that can power household appliances.
Although these bins make really cool roving music boxes, Baynes is currently working on another prototype which can be wheeled to different townships and used as a cellular phone charging station or to sell goods that aren’t easily accessible in rural areas. The first bin cost just over $1,000 to build – something Baynes recognizes to be unsustainable for small business owners – so he hopes to halve the price with the next generation.
Be sure to check out the end of the video clip to get a sense of how well designed Sunplugged bins are. The music comes through loud and clear and everyone who drove or walked by was inspired to either slow down or stop to take a closer look. Warren is working feverishly with a partner to bring both music and hope to South African communities; we think he stands a really good chance of making it happen!