Swaths of Puerto Rico still lack electricity. Jehu Garcia, film-making equipment company owner and YouTuber, wondered how he could help. He’s built his own do-it-yourself version of a Powerwall, and tackled the Puerto Rico power issue with his technical know-how by building a solar generator, and providing information for others to also build the DIY generators.
Garcia created a solar generator, which he explained in his video is “essentially a small, lightweight, portable Powerwall.” The solar generator is a box “containing batteries, an inverter, a solar charge controller, and all kinds of different connectors to get the power in and out.” His 13-minute video details how to make the device, and the text below includes links to the various components a builder would need – costing around $550, a figure which includes the cost of a solar panel, an extension cord to connect the device to the panel, and around six light bulbs. “This is a complete system ready to deploy in Puerto Rico to light up a home and to give at least power communications or medical devices,” Garcia said in his video. The device can be equipped to offer around one kilowatt-hours worth of battery.
Related: More than 20 organizations launch Solar Saves Lives to power clinics and food markets in Puerto Rico
Garcia called for people to build the solar generators, and send completed devices or parts to Javier Camacho, a contact of Garcia’s in Puerto Rico. Camacho recorded a video sharing his experience on the island, saying, “We are at the mercy of the people that can actually put the grid on – or, we could help them. We could make something.” Camacho has access to a maker space, according to Garcia, with people who could build the solar generators. OZY reported there have been 15 installations so far.
Images via Jehu Garcia on Instagram (1,2)