EWB – Shonto Solar

The Shonto Solar Project was created to aid the Navajo Native American reservation located in Shonto Arizona to resolve their need for electricity. The community’s remote location does not have the infrastructure or technology in place to provide all residents with reliable amounts of electricity in their private homes. Some residents lack accommodations such as refrigerators, electric lighting, and temperature control systems. In addition, many community members face health issues that require them to rely on medication which they cannot store in their homes given the situation. Over the course of nine semesters the EPICS Shonto Solar team has been able to design, build, and fully install an operational system in the community. The system consisting of two +300W solar panels wired in parallel connected to a storage system composed of 4 -12V lead acid batteries, provides enough electricity to the home to meet the goals of powering a chest freezer and 2 additional outlet plug in appliances. Now the team has the aim of improving the current design and completing the construction of three additional systems, including a test system that will be housed at the ASU Research Center.