Please contact myself, Madelyn Lawrence: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our sponsor and SVTC Representative, Sheila Davis: email@example.com. Or our project advisor, James Barsimantov: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project's focus is to both create design for environment (DfE) criteria for off-grid solar products and to develop safe recycling techniques for off-grid products to be used in the Kasungu District, Malawi in Africa.
Off-grid solar products can vary from solar lanterns to small generators. These products allow the user to have access to electricity without needing to be connected to an electrical grid. Which is why their use in developing regions has so much potential; specifically the generators, because they have the possibility of being income generating.
To create the DfE criteria I will be evaluating and disassembling 3 - 4 off-grid solar products. I will be evaluating the products through in depth analysis of their materials and their affect on the environment and the user -- this will require some end-of-life cycle analysis. In addition to this, I will be disassembling each of these products to aid this evaluation. My sponsor, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) will use all of this information, plus additional research on current DfE criteria for electronics to create our own DfE criteria. This criteria will be able to evaluate any off-grid product that is available on the market, to determine its sustainability. SVTC plans to use these criteria to inspire innovation in the off-grid industry to produce “zero-waste” products that cause no harm to the user or their environment throughout the products life cycle.
Some of the products I will be evaluating will be those that can be purchased and used in Africa. Through my evaluation process I will determine the safest ways to dis-assemble and retrieve value from these products, once they have reached their end of use. These will be communicated with the people of the Kasungu District in Malawi for their utilization.