Designing a solar power charger enclosure

Project Info

Case

One of our client companies who was a solar power company requested us the designing of a solar energy charger enclosure for one of their products. The design was to be made for two models of this product:

  1. Wall mount enclosure (for indoor applications)
  2. Pedestal mount (for outdoor applications)

Both designs were to prepared in three months so that it could be then delivered for the prototyping. The electronic design was already under the development by the customer, and therefore our company was assigned to work on the enclosure.

Requirement

  1. Properly designed to include all electronic parts including two batteries
  2. Installation of vents for preventing the inside heat problem
  3. The proper location for the wirings harness between different parts
  4. Long lifetime and durability under different environmental conditions
  5. Robustness while low weight
  6. Cost-effectiveness
  7. Aesthetics

Challenges

  1. Since part of the electronic design was still under development simultaneous to the enclosure design, our main challenge was to make sure that the final enclosure design would be fully compatible with the electronic part and electronic boards before it was delivered for the prototyping according to the timetable.
  2. The other challenge was a large number of components, inputs, and outputs that should have been considered in the design. The design had over 30 different boards, parts, and sockets that needed to be accurately taken into account.
  3. For molding of the final design, it had to be split and made into several pieces.
  4. Since the work was done on a remote basis, a good communication, constant coordination, and above all flexibility of the design team was a basic condition for the successful development of the design. 

Solution

Due to the above challenges and time constraint in making the design and in order to prevent any rework that could waste a great deal of time, a considerable about of time was spent with the client to clarify all the details and make a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on such details as the location of the electronic components, sizes of the electronic boards that were yet to be designed, all input & outputs, …

Also, since the aesthetics of the final design was a must and the client was quite concerned about this issue, special time was spent on this part and several covers were worked out before the internal structure was made.

Having received the confirmation of the client on one of the suggested designs that fully met the given condition, the design engineers started working on the other parts including the internal structure, placements of the boards, location of the input/output connectors and sockets, ventilation mechanism … and of course such considerations as the thickness of the enclosure, choice of the material and the size of the enclosure that could have considerable impact on the final price of the manufacturing.

During the course of the design, and despite the original agreement, the client changed some of the parts including the LCD that was to be installed on the front side of the enclosure. Our design team considered all requests for modifications and resolved the clients’ requirements.

Description

After about 3 months of close work with the customer, the final designs for both models, i.e. wall mount and pedestal mount was completed and offered to the client. The design was quite satisfying and met his positive feedback.

Client:
Paul G.
Date:
July 15, 2018
Location:
MN, US
Category:
Mechanical Engineering