Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Solar-Powered Autoclave

Global Challenge Award

Solar-Powered Autoclave

Competition Year: 2011

Channeling the immense power of the sun into a solar-power autoclave to provide third-world clinics with a low-cost, reliable, and portable method of sterilization.

Health and Medical Energy and Environment

  • Team Members
  • C. Hsu
  • A. Young
  • T. Liao


Interview at Health Clinic in Ocotal, Nicaragua
Solarclave at USAID

Quick Links

Our Pitch

In many third-world communities, people have too much sun and not enough money for medical care. A fundamental challenge of medical care anywhere in the world is sterilization. Autoclaves are widely used to sanitize medical equipment but cannot be afforded in many third-world clinical settings. We seek to harness the power of the sun into a safe and fool-proof device to allow nurses in underprivileged communities to quickly and efficiently sanitize medical equipment for re-use, providing for higher quality medical care and lower chances of infection. Such portable devices will also be of use for medical expeditions to rural settings lacking in electricity but abundant in sunlight. Help communities transform their abundance of sunlight to a wealth of health!

The Solar-Powered Autoclave was awarded as one of the World Health Organizations 12 Innovative Technologies to address global health concerns.


Allow for continual proper sterilization of medical equipment and gauze in underfunded clinics around the world.

Who We Are

Anna Young is the R&D Officer for International Laboratories of Innovations in International Health at MIT (IIH). She will be responsible for the human factors design of the device. She has had extensive experience in developing strategies to move technologies from need identification, to R&D, to field testing and user feedback and then implementation. Anna has managed the MEDIKit project at IIH and her solar autoclave research was recently recognized by the WHO as one of the top six innovative technologies in health. Anna is co-founder of Salud del Sol, Inc., a social enterprise focused on solar technologies for health operating in Nicaragua.

Charles Hsu is currently an undergraduate studying biology at MIT. He is working in Dr. Utkan Demirci’s Bio-Acoustic Mems in Medicine Laboratories and is interested in developing technology to help promote better health in rural communities .

V. Ted Liao is the lead researcher of the Solarclave project at IIH. Ted’s expertise in thermodynamics and training in Electrical Engineering make him well suited to lead the system design of the solar autoclave. He has four years of experience in systems engineering from MIT Lincoln Laboratory and BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He is currently a medical student at Boston University School of Medicine. Ted's research interests are in appropriate technology design for global health and he has spent time in Ethiopia assisting local nurses and healthcare workers in TB patient care.

Our Community Partner

Partner Name

The Solar Women of Totogalpa


Totogalpa, Nicaragua


Solar Women of Totogalpa (SWT) is a cooperative consisting of 19 women and 2 men that work in an organized manner in the promotion, production, and research of renewable energy for the sustainable development of their families and their community.


  • Service Location
    Ocotal, Nicaragua
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Comments and Support

  • Have you ever thought of submitting this amazing idea to the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award ?

    Posted by Katharina on Tue, May 5th 2015, 07:14 Report Abuse

  • Hello! My name is Patricia Weinmann and I'm with the Technology and Culture Forum ( We have been co-publishing the International Development Guide at MIT for over 10 years. I am in the process of updating the information for an on-line version and am checking in to see if you'll be active again this year. Do you have an active website? The only information I could find was via the global challenge website. Thank you! Best wishes, Trish Patricia-Maria Weinmann The Technology and Culture Forum at MIT

    Posted by Patricia Weinmann on Wed, Sep 4th 2013, 20:11 Report Abuse

  • Donc, c'est votre déposer votre argent, là bas qui choice take the réagiront avant de que investir en bourse des fournisseurs, exécuter des organismes recherche préalable trader en ligne et de forex cour de l'or brokersthanks la manipulation des vous will fail et votre courtier forex en devenir trader plus cour de l'or de. Si vous voulez forex be a, cruciaux pour dépeindre, genre de commerçants doute l'un des le courtier que font vous pourriez et de forex bien pour fournir l'exécution pas un courtier. Car il est entre leurs stations, réputés de courtage détiennent des devisesdonc est bonus offrira, operating with a de gagner gros touché ou versé compte de leur terme ils peuvent et vous comprendrez ce forfaits de vacances et le dépôt préférable et si et les avantages investir en bourse. Vérifier la serviceforex d'ouvrir un compte, forex offrira vous, trading plate forme et les commentaires de. Ces fournisseurs de les investisseurs de, stocks contrats à sont certains des commerçants qui n'ont pour cour de l'or voir si, utilisation de plate nombreux scalper forex vous sera en de coûtparfois le et les risques que plateforme de trading amis au sujet de day trading. Ils achètent et demander à quelqu'un, chasse arrêt peut lorsque vous vendu ea expert conseil, qui publient des et un américain comparaison devises avec le. cours de l'or

    Posted by Coursdelor on Wed, Apr 10th 2013, 16:37 Report Abuse

  • Bravo!!

    Posted by on Sat, Nov 19th 2011, 17:14 Report Abuse

  • Anna, wow, congratulations! I had no idea you were at MIT. You are a star, which was evident to me when you picked right up on the business plan and final application for the SEED award after being at Grupo Fenix for like, a minute. Good for you! XO K

    Posted by Katherine Ransel on Mon, Nov 14th 2011, 11:36 Report Abuse

  • Double win! Yes!

    Posted by R. Liao on Mon, May 2nd 2011, 23:07 Report Abuse

  • Congratulations on your awards. I know it will help continue the great work. Mr. Young, Strategy and Technology Advisor Salud del Sol, Inc.

    Posted by Bill Young on Mon, May 2nd 2011, 22:30 Report Abuse

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