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Childhood Inspiration Turns Eden Full into Ambitious Solar Entrepreneur

Sunsaluter - pilot project in KenyaEden Full is an ambitious young green entrepreneur. Founder of SunSaluter, her aim is to create disruptive solar technology to bring the cost of renewable energy down – for both developed and emerging markets. She believes so strongly in her entrepreneurial vision that she quit school at Princeton to make it a reality!

How SunSaluter and Eden Full are Radically Boosting Solar’s Efficiency

Eden was in the middle of her Princeton program when she decided to venture to Africa to test her SunSaluter idea – a mechanism that makes it possible for solar panels to rotate to track the sun throughout the day. Developed in her parents’ basement in Calgary, Canada, Eden’s idea – inspired by sunflowers that follow the sun – is designed with aluminum and steel bimetallic strips, and powered by heat rather than electricity. Her goal is to increase the solar panel’s efficiency by up to 40%, though she’s not yet revealing a lot of details about the design.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the invention is that it was something she developed while still in high school. But it wasn’t until she won the $100,000 Thiel Fellowship for being a 20-under-20 in April 2011 at the age of 19, which requires a 2-year break from college to work on a project, that Eden determined to go to Africa to test her ideas and create her company, Roseicollis Technologies.

The first versions, built in Mpala, Africa, were made of scrap metal and bamboo and cost about $10 (excluding the solar array and battery). It’s still working hard today. SunSaluter is currently in active development through Roseicollis Technologies, producing solar systems that are cheaper, created from locally-sourced and recyclable materials, easy to assemble, and flexible enough to be installed with virtually any existing solar panel system.

About this Entrepreneur for a Change: Eden Full

Eden grew up with a newspaper artist for a father who taught her that she could do anything if she just applied herself. Her love of invention won the day in the end, and was spurred on by her passion for solar which started at the young age of 10 when she built a solar car from a kit.

The SunSaluter has won several awards since being launched, including the Mashable/UN Foundation Startups for Social Good Challenge, the $10,000 EcoLiving 2011 Award, and the $275,000 2011 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.

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