A team of scientists have developed a solar-powered projector system that runs off low-cost solar panels.

The group, from the University of Southampton, developed the device to help rural schools in developing countries.

At the moment, the lack of power solutions and access to electricity in developing nations is hindering education services and the practical subjects in particular.

Now, with the low-cost solution, this is all starting to change. Projectors generally need a power supply of between 200 and 300 watts, which can be a lot to ask of from a solar panel on a constant basis. But the new device requires only 50 watts of power, revolutionising the situation and making battery powered projection “feasible”.

This allows the students to be given practical demonstrations of experiments by linking up lessons between different schools across the internet and projecting the practical work in areas like maths, physics and woodwork onto a large enough screen for the young people to view.

Professor Tony Rest, who worked of the device, commented on the invention: “The lack of electricity is a particularly serious matter for rural schools and this situation is unlikely to get better in the near to medium future.

“With drawbacks to petrol generators, due to difficulties in getting supplies and safety hazards, solar energy generators have become available at cost-effective prices and provide a sustainable answer as rural schools have an abundance of the basic energy source required to power them - sunshine.”