A girl from Bengaluru won the Vice Chancellor's Social Impact Award at the University of Oxford on Wednesday, July 21, for making portable energy access more affordable by developing a technological model using a lithium-ion battery, reported The Indian Express.
Motivation To Contribute For COVID-19 Crisis
Prerna Wadikar, a student from Bengaluru, shared her experience and said that working in different sectors before enrolling for an MBA programme at the University of Oxford motivated her to contribute towards saving lives hit by the coronavirus crisis. "The micro-entrepreneurs were impacted the most by the pandemic as their survival and the quick revival were very difficult. This led to a thought to push for making accessible in an affordable manner would help several street and hawkers in India," she said. The technology developed by her resembles a power bank that can be charged using either a solar panel or an electric grid, both embedded in the device itself.
According to Prerna, the battery once charged would function for 6 to hours and can provide 75Wh and would help to run three other devices simultaneously.
Idea Came While Working In India and Ethiopia
Prerna has worked in different sectors within and outside India. She started her career as a distribution marketing professional in Bengaluru.
"This idea first came to me during my work in India and then in Ethiopia and Nigeria where pushcart vendors are very common. While electric charging is possible in most parts of India, the solar panel was developed keeping in mind the other countries where power supply interruptions are rampant," she said.
The device is at its pilot phase in Varanasi and Prerna hopes it reaches other countries and could be used for other purposes.