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Haiti Solar Team Plans Repeat Trip With Funding From Georgia Tech Student Foundation

Atlanta, GA

It was May of 2016 when an Opportunity Research Scholars (ORS) student group traveled to the remote village of Thoman, Haiti, to install a solar-powered system that provides LED light and phone charging to a single family home. The system was a success and has been a game changer for two lucky families who had no access to reliable, inexpensive electricity.

Thanks to an award from the Georgia Tech Student Foundation (GTFS), a new group of students from the Haiti Solar Team are planning a return this May to implement more solar-powered systems with a plan for sustainability. 

The ORS Program, which matches electrical and computer engineering undergraduate students with a graduate mentor and research project, facilitates multi-year projects that build on the research of past teams. Two years on, the Haiti Solar Team students who developed, installed, and tested the original prototype have graduated, but the project has carried on with new students striving to perfect the system and install it in even more homes.

This summer, a new group of ORS students plan to take 25 ‘Haiti Relay’ systems to Thoman for installation. The trip is made possible by the dedication of students; the vision and organization of faculty mentors Frank Lambert, a principal research engineer, and the late Ron Harley, a Regents’ Professor and Georgia Power Distinguished Professor; and generous funding from groups such as GTSF.

The team—consisting of Adam Kinsel, Jake Smith, Bria Matthews, and Ph.D. mentor Jingfan Sun—requested funding for parts and materials to build the 25 Relays and were awarded the full amount of $3,955.61. On March 1, a check was presented to the Haiti Solar Team by GTSF during the Georgia Tech men’s basketball game in McCamish Pavilion.

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Opportunity Research Scholars

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Last revised May 15, 2020