Bulletproof Haiti's Economy using This New Renewable Energy Tech.

By Claude-Reynald Christian

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All the socioeconomic issues on a personal level

I grew up in Haiti and for those who don't know what that means, I grew up in a world without reliable electricity. I was 4 when my bedroom caught fire during a blackout, 5 when I survived my first riot that happened because of poor electricity, and 7 when I tried to steal electricity from the same neighbors that helped put out the fire and almost got electrocuted. I was not so lucky the next couple of times I came in contact with wiring.

I didn't know what electricity was but I knew everyone needed it. From the adults watching the World Cup, to my childhood friends who would disappear before it got too dark. Security and safety was a big deal and so was healthcare. There was a neighboring hospital that would periodically run a generator and the worst part was the smell. The same smell that almost killed me. That smell of fuel burning.

On a commercial and national level

The smell of fuel is also the smell of the poverty loop. 20 years after that fire, I got my degree in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), started this company and learned that the blackout and associated riots were just a symptom of the disease that is the over-dependency on fossil fuels.

Protesters demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise faced the police in Port-au-Prince.

Credit: Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

Since 2017, my team and I looked at over 136 annual reports from grid operators and power producers around the world, and they all admit that spending such a significant portion of their revenue on importing fuel is "a threat to national security". Something the people of Haiti experienced first hand in the summer of 2018 when the price of diesel and gasoline increased drastically.

The solution has already been expressed by the leaders of various small islands and developing states. The energy independence breaks the cycle, which is why they are looking to transition to 100% renewable roughly by 2026.

But without addressing the high cost of lithium-ion batteries as well as their high carbon footprint, it's a non-starter.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

This is why we created the most comprehensive technology solution ever proposed to reverse climate change; CARIES. It's a compressed air renewable integrated energy solution that's prefabricated and delivered as a drop-in replacement for a diesel and gas generator for businesses in Haiti that is scalable and carbon negative.

Under the hood, you'll find mostly existing technology that is familiar with the existing workforce for maximum operating time.

And why we know it will work

As you can see in the image above, 80% of the technology used in a CARIES assembly is existing technology. 40% of which I personally have over 7 years of experience specifying and designing. The compressed air subsystem, we've built as part of the prototype and the solar thermal system will be by the most credible company when it comes to solar thermal systems, Gossamer.

The remaining 20% is a carbon dioxide system that has been validated by MIT and Sandia National Labs since the early 2000s and we've secured a proposal with the leading design firm that participated in the research; SoftInWay to fine-tune the remaining manufacturable component that we could not validate through simulations, specifically for our design.

And how it's going to change the world...

We'll start in Haiti (because if it works there, it will work in any other political climate on the planet). Specifically with the critical businesses that keep the country afloat such as telecom towers, small farms and water treatment facilities as well as small hotels that could use a 15 kW unit.

We have pilot and half of the prototype built, now we need you

We've spent $30,000 from our own paychecks and from friends and family. We have a site selected in Haiti, Cotes des Arcadins and we've established a partnership with WPI to optimize the design through a senior project. Now we need the funds:

$21,000 to sponsor the WPI students

$24,000 to finalize the 3D design for the sCO2 compressors and turbines with SoftinWay

$41,000 for the remaining parts of the prototype. See the bill of materials here.

All for CARIES! Thank you for your time and care for our planet.

Christian Lecorps

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Team Members

Claude-Reynald Christian

Julien Goalabré

WPI Student Design Team

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