Mechanical Design for Mesh Grid Power System Components

A Design for Good project to support Okra Solar Pty Ltd in the designs and prototypes development to streamline the deployment of affordable solar-based energy solutions. Sponsored by The Autodesk Foundation."

Mechanical Design for Mesh Grid Power System Components

The prevailing energy access disparity predominantly affects low- and middle-income countries, with a significant proportion of energy-deficient areas falling within this category. The projected impact of unreliable energy access is substantial, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that approximately 600 million people – 57% of the population – live without electricity. This challenge stems from a combination of factors such as rapid population growth, urbanization, and the introduction of novel technologies, collectively posing unprecedented obstacles to ensuring consistent and adequate energy access.

The aim of Okra Solar is to deploy cost-effective and affordable solar-based energy solutions to energy-constrained regions, and this project seeks to support this goal by adopting a more streamlined method of deploying Okra Mesh Grid products through the design of a simple plug-and-play unit integrated within an enclosure. This project also seeks to develop a framework for mass-produced enclosures with lower cost per unit.

The project started with a conceptualization of the enclosure, followed by the design and prototyping of the unit for the Okra Mesh grid product. Manufacturers and vendors were consulted to ensure a manageable cost per unit enclosure was achieved. Materials such as CAD drawings, production files, assembly instructions, and renderings were created to support manufacturing and installation. This allowed for the development of prototypes, which were deployed in the field and tested by the team and users to gather feedback and plan improvements for future designs.

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