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.
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.