The SolSource 3-in-1: A Comprehensive Decentralized Solar Energy Platform

EPA Grant Number: SU834292
Title: The SolSource 3-in-1: A Comprehensive Decentralized Solar Energy Platform
Investigators: Flynn, Nolan Thomas , Ezzati, Majid , Frank, Scot G. , Powers, Catlin Ishihara , Qian, Amy
Current Investigators: Spengler, John D. , Amatya, Reja , Ezzati, Majid , Frank, Scot G. , Jia, Huaze , Kulper, Sloan , Powers, Catlin Ishihara , Qian, Amy , Ram, Rajeev , Tai, Xiamao , Wilson, David Gordon , Yang, Xudong , Zhang, Wendi
Institution: Wellesley College
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2009 through August 1, 2010
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Challenge Area - Information Technology


For the past three years, we have worked with villagers in China and India to design the SolSource 3-in-1, a novel device that harnesses solar-thermal energy for cooking, heating, and electricity generation.


Our objective is to develop a comprehensive, decentralized solar energy platform applicable within both rural and urban contexts in the Himalayan region and beyond.


Several generations of prototypes have been constructed and field-tested (supported by the MIT IDEAS Competition, Yunus Innovation Award, and Clinton Global Initiative). A stronger, more efficient, and more portable generation of the device will be built taking into account the results of initial field-tests. The mechanical performance of this system will be evaluated in the Himalayan region, under some of the most adverse ambient temperature and wind conditions available. Simultaneous with field testing, a monitoring system will be developed to gather quantitative data concerning the impact of device implementation on indoor air pollution exposures in this region.

Expected Results:

In rural communities, the SolSource 3-in-1 has the potential to abate indoor air pollution, mitigate regional climate change impact, increase household income, improve gender equality, and reduce land-use conflict. In urban areas, the SolSource 3-in-1 has the potential to offer families a cheap supplementary electricity source, a complete camping energy suite, or just a clean method of backyard barbequing.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 8 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

energy distribution, alternative energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, solar heating, solar cooking, energy database, holistic design, environmental health, pollution prevention, international technology,, RFA, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Atmosphere

Relevant Websites:

Phase 2 Abstract

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • P3 Phase II:

    Solsource 3-In-1: Providing Clean Energy to the Poorest 2.5 Billion at a Price They Can Afford