Updated Jan 16, 2018

Jake Schual-berke

Send Message

The SunSaluter is the only solar tracker designed for the developing world. Using just gravity and water, the SunSaluter boosts solar panel output by 30% and reduces total system costs by 15-20%. The SunSaluter is 30 times less expensive than conventional motorized solar trackers, consumes no electricity, and also produces clean drinking water.
How does your innovation work?
Mechanically ...
SEE ALL
The SunSaluter is the only solar tracker designed for the developing world. Using just gravity and water, the SunSaluter boosts solar panel output by 30% and reduces total system costs by 15-20%. The SunSaluter is 30 times less expensive than conventional motorized solar trackers, consumes no electricity, and also produces clean drinking water.
How does your innovation work?
Mechanically speaking, the SunSaluter is a single-axis solar tracker, wherein a solar panel is balanced on a hinge. A counterweight is hung from the west-facing end of the panel, and a special container of water with a waterclock is hung from the east-facing end. The container of water is filled in the morning so that the panel faces east, and as it slowly empties, it rotates to face the sun throughout the day. The user can control the drip rate, and therefore the rotation speed. An optional water purifier can be integrated into the container so that the water used to operate the SunSaluter comes out as clean drinking water. By combining energy and water collection in to one simple daily routine of refilling the SunSaluter, consistent usage of the purifier is improved. A graphical explanation of the SunSaluter can be found on our website here. Lastly, the SunSaluter’s frame can be made from wood or other inexpensive materials, making it sustainable and locally manufacturable and serviceable.
SEE LESS

Stage 4: Transition to Scale

For the last three years, we have focused on perfecting our technology and truly understanding the off-grid solar market. Working with end users from 140 deployments in 16 countries, we have finally created a commercially viable product. We receive inquiries from around the world everyday, demonstrating the unmet demand for a low cost solar tracker, and are ready to scale operations worldwide. So far, we have established manufacturing and distribution operations with entrepreneurs in Bangalore, India and Lilongwe, Malawi. SunSaluters are used in homes, businesses, farms, schools, religious centers, and more. At the Mpala Research Center in Kenya, SunSaluters boost the power of two village phone charging stations. At Barefoot College in India, three SunSaluters power lights in the women’s dormitories. In the Indian village of Khoiri, SunSaluters power 12 homes, and each family is saving $4 USD per month on kerosene. Our implementation partner, The Skilled Samaritan Foundation, has declared that all of their future systems will use SunSaluters, and together we are providing SunSaluters to 12 rural schools in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Together we are searching for village level entrepreneurs in northern India who would like to start their own SunSaluter operations. Approximately 1,500 individuals already directly benefit from SunSaluters, and an estimated 8,000 more benefit indirectly. At the Sumangali Seva Ashram for girls in Bangalore, a SunSaluter powers lights and fans in the classrooms, while also serving as an educational tool for hundreds of visitors each month to learn about renewable energy. These 140 SunSaluters produce an extra 9,700 kWh of energy and eliminate 420 tons of CO2 emissions every year. By 2017 we aim to deploy 10,000 SunSaluters with partners in 5 countries to benefit more than 60,000 users and eliminate 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year.
Registered in United Statesin United States

Focus Areas:

Energy, Distributed Generation Systems, Solar and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Energy, Distributed Generation Systems, Solar, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Human Centered DesignSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Malawi and India

Malawi and IndiaSEE LESS

2,000
Lives Impacted to Date
2
Countries Implemented In

Planned Goals and Milestones

SunSaluter is a mission-driven non-profit organization, but we recognize that a market-based approach is the only way to create large scale, sustainable social impact. By helping local entrepreneurs create their own for-profit enterprises, we are merely the catalyst which spurs them to drive the SunSaluter to scale. Furthermore, by selling and licensing the SunSaluter technology directly to larger solar companies and NGOs, we aim to become financially self-sufficient by the end of 2016. At that time SunSaluter will generate enough revenue to run its own business and fund its own philanthropic rural electrification projects. Hundreds of organizations are already doing tremendous work to bring solar energy and clean water to rural communities. Rather than create a competing solution, SunSaluter has chosen to develop a technology and model which enhances their impact. Since the SunSaluter augments solar panels, we view other off-grid solar organizations and companies as allies, not competitors. By leveraging the existing last-mile distribution and service networks of partner organizations we maintain a lean team and ensure that our technology reaches end users through reliable and locally appropriate channels.
Funding Goal250,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted2,000

Milestone

Date Unknown
Created
Date Unknown
Lives Impacted
2,000
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
India
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Malawi