BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 June, 2003, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Students focus on portable power
The solar power device - photograph courtesy Suffolk College
The inventors are still working on reducing the weight of the device
A group of students in Ipswich have created a solar-powered portable energy unit.

The device, which is set into a briefcase, generates enough energy to power light bulbs, charge mobile phones and boil a kettle.

Patrick McGovern, 30, Steven Bainbridge, 26, and Samantha Payne, 22, all students at Suffolk College, invented the power pack as a project for their environmental sciences degree.

Their aim was to create a practical item which uses renewable resources, and the concept was inspired by a trip to India, where Patrick McGovern saw renewable energy being used.

A work in progress

He said: "India is way ahead of us, and we could learn a lot from their experiences."

The device is packed with enough batteries to power 12-volt appliances, and there are four sockets on the outside to power larger household items.

So far the students have managed to run a music system for an hour with the existing solar batteries, but they intend to improve it to power a whole room.

Associate Dean of Computing and Applied Science Susan Spencer said she was delighted by the students' enthusiasm.

"At the moment you can buy laptops that run off solar power but this could run your computer, your stereo, charge the mobile phone and also provide a light to read by."

Solar power lights up village
09 Apr 03  |  Tyne
New dawn for solar power
13 Jul 01  |  UK

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific