Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Portable solar generator from Vere Technical young innovators

Published:Monday | August 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Portable solar generator produced by Vere Technical High School students on display at Denbigh Show in Clarendon yesterday.
Travis Ennis of Vere Technical High displayed a portable solar generator, produced by fellow students, at the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in Clarendon yesterday.
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The portable solar generator stood out among the displays in the Clarendon Pavilion at the 66th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in Clarendon. It's all thanks to a group of innovative students from the Vere Technical High School.

Travis Ennis, the sole representative of the group of 10 who brainstormed and came up with the idea, rapped with The Gleaner about the project on Saturday.

"A group of us started thinking about various ideas on how we can replace things that are costly. We wanted to see how we could make things cheaper," he recounted, adding that they also wanted something that was eco-friendly.

The result was the portable solar generator, which Ennis said can be used in a small house.

He said that the generator would be ideal for someone who wants to enjoy air conditioning non-stop without having to think about the high electricity cost for the comfort, especially in the heat of the summer.

"The battery is able to output 110 volts. If the battery dies, you have the solar panel that you can connect the generator to," he explained. Ennis said that the solar panel is used to replace the wired solar generator and is a better option as it allows the owners the flexibility to take the generator with them to a new location if they move, unlike the fixed solar panel.

Ennis also highlighted the generator's affordability in comparison to its alternative.

"Powering your home with the original solar panel can prove to be an expensive venture, but this system is also incorporated with wireless glow lights," he said of its attributes.

Ennis, now 18 and who graduated from Vere Technical High in June, is anticipating joining the Jamaica Defence Force, if all goes well. He said that he has already started the process, with the sole barrier being his upcoming physical examination.

Unlike some youths who join the army or the police force because of inability to find other employment, he said for him, the choice was deliberate.

"This, for me, is more than just a job. It's a career for me. It's like a dream for me as I am planning to pursue engineering there," he told The Gleaner.