Student Designs Portable, Grid-Connected Solar Carport

 

  • A New College of Florida student, Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt, has won a $10,000 OZY Genius Award for what she calls “Gismo Power,” a mobile solar carport with an integrated electric vehicle charger.

Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt’s Gismo Power in action

Ginsberg-Klemmt’s Gismo Power apparatus is a foldable solar carport that’s entirely mobile and can be folded for storage in a garage. In operation, the appliance can fit up to 24 solar modules on its frames, which can be angled or lowered depending on the position of the sun at any given time.

It also uses a SolarEdge Inverter/EV charger. This is connected to an extension cord, which serves as the plug for Gismo Power to connect to the grid.

The OZY Genius Award is a $10,000 prize awarded to 10 college students pursuing “projects or ideas that have a positive impact on society.”

According to Ginsberg-Klemmt, the idea to create a portable solar EV charging carport came from the recognition that her school’s campus did not have EV charging stations.

Because Gismo Power doesn’t have an attached battery system, the apparatus must be connected to the grid, so it does not waste the generated electricity. While on the grid, however, the system acts just like any rooftop solar installation, sending excess generation back to the grid and paying for itself via net metering.

Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt

Ginsberg-Klemmt owns the only Gismo Power prototype, but she is working to construct a more powerful version for New College of Florida. Once that project is complete, she plans on beta-testing a handful of systems. She estimates that the system would cost around $20,000, but that may not be reflective of the final price after beta-testing.

Ginsberg-Klemmt is also pursuing OSHA & UL certification and generic permitting for the first grid-tied electrical appliance to generate electricity. This process includes improvements to electric code compliance and usability improvements. Once those benchmarks have been achieved and commercial scaling becomes a reality, Ginsberg-Klemmt plans to produce a “startup series” of 10 to 100 units, while also starting the “Gismo Power Factory,” a manufacturing facility.

Author: Tim Sylvia

This article was originally published in pv magazine USA and is republished with permission.

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