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Sun in a Box

Team members

Tai YuJie (ASD), Anthony Wong Chew Yao (ASD), Leng Xian Hui Matthew (EPD), Nigel Ng Yan Hong (EPD), Ryan Wong Jun Wei (ESD), Deborah Yap Mei Qi (ESD)


Bige Tunçer, Nagarajan Raghavan, Keegan Kang

Writing Instructors:

Nurul Wahidah Binte Mohd Tambee

Teaching Assistant:

Ataman Cem

Project Description

A modular and scalable solar-powered battery charging station that delivers sustainable clean energy conveniently at low cost to off-grid communities. It is supported by a simulation that calculates the cost efficiency and derives the optimal panel-to-battery ratio for a specific target location.

Project Summary

Rural communities have limited access to electricity and the benefits of modern appliances. Should they have appliances, they unfortunately have to resort to diesel generators or the like, which causes pollution. A readily accessible source of electricity is also critical in order to fulfil basic needs, create jobs and increase employability as well as increase connectivity between the people, to raise the overall standards of living in the community. Sun-In-A-Box hopes to provide sustainable, healthy and environmentally friendly power solutions to uplift rural communities beyond what current solutions have been able to provide.


An Integrated System

The main goal of this project is to provide a reliable power source to communities that do not have access to grid power. The solution consists of a modular and scalable charging station that could be easily deployed in any target location. It consists of three main components:


1. A simulation that estimates the optimal number of solar panels and batteries needed in a deployment, as well as a model estimating the cost of a deployment project.

2. A charging station, consisting of a structure housing a solar charged battery system, where users can retrieve battery packs for use in their households.

3. Social spaces within the charging station that utilizes the space under the solar panels, to serve the more intangible needs of the community.



1. Simulation

This virtual component predicts and adjusts the system's variables to the optimal performance of the station before its deployment.


Cost Estimation

In order to confirm which projects are feasible, we created a cost estimation simulation module that would allow Quantedge Advancement Initiative (QAI) to immediately determine if a project is within its budget.


To estimate a project’s costs, the simulation factors the number of families to be served, average family electrical use, battery costs and other variables, and calculates the XXXX <state what these output variables are – Number of require solar panels? Ratio of solar panels to battery packs?>.


With the simulation, project managers are able to obtain a quick-glance estimation of the project parameters using our researched averages for the input variables, or input first-hand information about a particular project site to increase the accuracy of the estimation. This will enable project managers to understand the project’s characteristics to make an informed decision about the feasibility of a project.



2. Solar Charging Station

The vital component providing power for the community, the charging station harnesses the power of the sun to generate electricity, stored in durable, user-friendly battery packs and charged by an intelligent charging system.


Solar Array

The solar panels are connected to a Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) charge controller, which ensures the electricity produced by the panels are at the optimal voltage for charging the batteries. Arrays of multiple solar panels can be connected to a single controller. The MPPT charge controller will then be connected to the priority charging system followed by the batteries.




Circuit Diagram:


Battery Pack

The portable battery packs are the components that store electricity generated by the solar panels of the charging station. The users carry these fully charged packs from the station to their households to power their appliances, and also bring the depleted packs back to the station once their appliances have fully drained them.



· Lightweight: Made with lightweight Lithium Ion batteries for it to be more easily carried over distances, while still carrying a significant amount of charge to power a household.

· Easy to use: An intuitive user panel which provides seamless transition between charging mode and user mode, and in-built low-battery alert.

· Safe: Using safer Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, a protective casing with an intelligent design that hides exposed charging terminals when in user mode, and short circuit protection.

· Modular: A durable, rugged design that is able to be stacked and combined for carrying multiple batteries.













3. Structure and Social Spaces

On top of providing the rural community with a sustainable and renewable source of electricity, the spaces under the solar roof can also function as social spaces to bring about more positive impacts to the rural community which may help improve their standards of living. These programs can be catered to the number of modules within an entire configuration and adjusted to suit the needs of the community.

For the purposes of our project, we are taking Kampong Chhnang in Cambodia as our target location. The structure is thus lightweight and open to ensure natural daylight and ventilation occurs, which would reduce the need of electricity to cool the place down.\

Pictured are suggestions for the programs: Gathering Space, Eating, Classroom, Museum, Library


Rendered Video of Modular Structure


360 Render QR Code

360 render








Charging Station Model

A jaamsim model is also used to create a discrete event simulation of the charging station. It takes the context of a location and generates the number of solar panels and batteries that are needed for that location.








solar array




Priority Charging Circuit

The priority charging system ensures there is at least a fully charged battery at all times for the community by directing current to charge the highest State-of-Charge (SoC) battery, except for fully charged batteries (100% SoC).

The charging system is also modular, such that the number of batteries per module can be adjusted to meet the needs of the targeted location.






Battery Pack Combination:




Close-up of Social Space Examples:

Industry Partner:



student Tai YuJie Architecture and Sustainable Design
student Anthony Wong Chew Yao Architecture and Sustainable Design
student Leng Xian Hui Matthew Engineering Product Development
student Nigel Ng Yan Hong Engineering Product Development
student Ryan Wong Jun Wei Engineering Systems and Design
student Deborah Yap Mei Qi Engineering Systems and Design
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