If you have an old cellphone that you’d like to donate to science, Ali Anson would love to take it off your hands.
Anson, project coordinator on the Smart Village Microgrid Team at the Colorado State University Energy Institute, is collecting cellphones and chargers to simulate the electricity demands in a rural village in Africa.
“A lot of the electricity load in the developing world comes from lighting and powering cellphones,” she explained. “We would like about 25 phones that can be charged and then drained to help us create a model for efficient energy in a village.”
Research shows that there is at least one cellphone per household in most villages in Rwanda, but only about 20 percent of the country has access to electricity; maybe only 5 percent in rural areas.
The Smart Village Microgrid project is working with the Rwandan government to bring solar-powered electricity directly to villages. The team has created a simulated microgrid at the Powerhouse campus — and that’s where the donated cellphones come in.
Phones don’t have to contain a SIM card or work in any way except to be able to hold a charge, be drained, and then charged again. Anson said basic phones without apps or other data-heavy smart features are preferred, since most people in developing countries just talk and text.
“Old Blackberries would be great,” Anson said.
Phones and chargers can be dropped off at either the Powerhouse, 430 N. College Ave., or on campus at the front desk of the School for Global Environmental Sustainability, 108 Johnson Hall on the Oval.
If you’d like your cellphone back, include your name and contact information with your donation.