Saturday, February 29

How A Trip To India Inspired This Aussie Founder To Develop A Clean Energy Solution

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While studying a dual degree in Physics and Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland, David Nelson completed an internship with Pollinate Energy in Hyderbad in India. It was this trip that inspired him to create CHARGECUBE, an energy solution for the developing world.

It was while visiting India that David witnessed first hand how over fifty of the shanty towns and impoverished communities struggled with basic energy needs. This, combined with his Christian faith compelled him to come up with a solution for the problem, knowing that it had to be low cost, easy to install and based off of a renewable energy source.

The result of that hard work is CHARGECUBE, a 3D printed modular solar battery system that will produce energy cheaper than the Tesla Powerwall on a per kWh basis once the company releases their home battery system, and comes with an initial cost that is at least 100x cheaper.

The CHARGECUBE system that David has developed has three primary components, the solar panel that generates the electricity, the CHARGESTICK that stores the electricity and the CHARGEBASE that regulates the voltage and has a 12V outlet.

A single CHARGESTICK can store enough electricity to power a light all night long, run a fan during the day, or even boil water. In addition, as a modular system additional CHARGESTICKS can be added allowing it to scale with the size of the family and their energy needs.

David and his startup CHARGECUBE is one of fourteen startups accepted into the EnergyLabs Accelerator Program, a 6 – 24 month program designed to supercharge clean energy based startups.

Despite only kicking off a few weeks ago David highlighted how EnergyLabs has already been hugely valuable in his startup’s journey. In particular, he pointed out the Mentors at EnergyLabs have allowed him to transfer his technical knowledge from university into skills that are applicable to growing and developing a business.

In addition to that, marketing and sales were one area where David lacked past experience. As part of EnergyLabs David has been able to attend numerous workshops and receive one on one coaching with industry veterans and mentors who have helped formulate a plan to market CHARGECUBE.

Reflecting on why he believes so strongly in CHARGECUBE David said that while it won’t work for every startup, he believes that we should look to create solutions that have the potential to transform the world. For David this literally involved writing down a list of the world’s biggest problems and trying to think of exponentially innovative solutions for them. That is to say, a solution that is at least 10x better than the current best practice.

Over the next three months David is aiming to generate initial traction by targeting campers in Australia, as well as targeting the international market by engaging with communities where there is an issue with the cost and supply of energy. He will do all of this while growing his manufacturing capabilities in line with demand.

Six to twelve months out and David aims to take CHARGECUBE up a notch with the development of a home battery solution. This is part of the ultimate goal that uses the supply of consistent energy to empower individuals living in these communities where they lack access to a ready supply of electricity.

You can learn more about David and the important work CHARGECUBE is doing on their website.

This article is part of an in-depth series we are running on the EnergyLabs Accelerator Program. Over the next few months we will be profiling all of the startups taking part in EnergyLabs program to showcase how they are tacking some of the world’s most pressing challenges when it comes to clean and renewable energy.


About Author

Paul Towers is a passionate supporter of the Australian startup ecosystem and the Founder of Startup Soda. Originally, Startup Soda was solely a newsletter that helped curate the best content from the Australian startup community, more recently however it has turned into a media platform with the aim of improving coverage of Australian Startups, Founders and VC's.