“Solar Man” is aiming to build education as the cornerstone of his new recreational venture, Solar Wonderland. Solar Wonderland is a “gigafactory” and much more. This gigafactory is for building lightweight carbon fiber solar panels as the Lotus product line expands.
Students, children, and others will enjoy a hands-on educational experience in this Energy Amusement Park. They will learn about forces of energy — electric, magnetic, gravity, strong, and weak. They will learn about forms of energy — light, heat, pressure, kinetic, and chemical.
Joe Hui calls himself the “Solar Man.” On Solar Man’s Indiegogo campaign page, Hui explains and promotes his aspirations and plans:
I am Solar Man. My passion is to help people all over the world live a comfortable yet sustainable life through the use of my inventions
Why do we want to build a Solar Wonderland? First, to meet your demand for our carbon fiber panels, we are designing a low-cost Giga-factory to build these panels. Second, the factory is going to create jobs, hundreds in manufacturing and thousands in the installation and services supported. Third, the energy amusement park can teach our students about the Physics of energy. Fourth, you can also donate solar panels to US veterans so that they can enjoy free solar electricity and hot water.
Hui’s company, Monarch Power, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to construct this GW-scale manufacturing facility and “energy amusement park” in Arizona. This is clearly an exploratory solar venture. Hui’s company manufactures “Lotus solar products,” which include a 2.4 kW portable solar flower and combined PV and solar thermal awning.
“Help Solar Man Build Solar Wonderland” shares more of this unique awning:
I am introducing the Lotus Awning, a light weight carbon fiber composite solar panel that runs a coolant through carbon fiber tubes. Cool panels give you more electricity and collect heat to give you hot water. It is not grid tied so you don’t need utility approval. If you add battery storage of electricity, you can save electricity when the sun is not shining. Better, you can save the day when natural disaster strikes. Think Super Storm Sandy.
We also plan to open an exhibit called the Circle of Energy by early next year. The exhibit hall covers a floor space of 4000 square feet. There you enjoy a 3D video called “What’s the Matter with Energy?” that explains solar power in terms of the relationship among matter, energy, space and time; all in the context from the Big Bang till the birth of our sun.
The Pima native tribes are going to lease a 5+ acre piece of land to Monarch for Solar Wonderland. The design is an 80-foot-tall Solar Pyramid topped with a Golden Sun made to rise by solar-heated air. And there is so much more….
Jobs are another important plus of the venture, clean energy jobs. Hui projects the following job needs: “The production facility will hire about 100 workers. The marketing, sales, installation, service, and applications of the Lotus line of products will create thousands of jobs.”
Incorporating education into recreation comes naturally to Dr. Joe Hui, the mastermind behind a 3D theater showing the movie “What’s the Matter with Energy,” which will be on top of the theater on the third floor in the Circle of Energy exhibit; and “Gravity,” a free-fall ride. He got his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from MIT.
Check out more details on the Indiegogo campaign page, such as rides called “Maglev Back to the Future,” “Doctor Frankenstein in the Tesla Tower,” “Alice in the Optics Wonderland,” and “The Heat is On.”
While it all looks like fun, Hui has sat an extremely ambitious target of $5,000,000. With 54 days left in the campaign, $1,120 has been raised. It is a Flexible Funding campaign, so anything raised will be collected, but it’s not clear what Hui would do with just a few thousand dollars.