Design an alternative power source? By myself? In a week? Yeah, I don't think so. That is just too ambitious for me. Plus, design isn't my best skill. I won't waste energy (my own) on learning a new skill that is so far beyond my range.
What I *am* good at is resourcing. I can find almost anything online or off. I use my research skills and my social skills to get the skinny on whatever subject.
For this ACT, I want to introduce you to the Instructables
site, and encourage you to buy a subscription to it. For those of us who aren't designers, this site is invaluable. Step-by-step instructions and access to the inventors are all you need to start your own alternative power projects.
Take a look at this small solar panel project that is within anyone's reach:http://www.instructables.com/id/Small-Solar-Panel/
After you're done looking over that, search the Instructables website for "solar panel" and see what comes up. I can spend hours looking at the projects.
Let me know if you've seen this site before and/or if you've ever done any of the projects.