Saturday, March 28, 2015

Building solar power systems

Our students have been learning to saw, drill, file, basic electricity, and photovoltaics for the past several weeks.  

Today, they put together all those skills and build their own working solar power system.  And all of the 10 systems, built by the 10 teams, with an average of 5 students each, passed!

Each system consists of 2 solar panels, held together with a frame made of plastic pipes.  The electricity generated is passed through a controller.  The sun also cooperated by coming out at the right time.  All of the solar panels were able to generate about 12 volts of electricity as expected.  

Next week, they are going to construct LED lights that run off a battery charged by the electricity generated by the solar panels.  They will continue to practice their skills and refine the designs in the coming month.  

In mid-May, the first team will travel to Rwanda to build 45 systems for a village near Kigali, where they is no electricity.  They will also train a team of the local youths to build and maintain the systems. 

In June, the second team will travel to Cambodia, to construct another 45 systems for the villagers on an island where most of the houses do not have electricity.  

Considering the fact that most of these students have never used a saw, a drill, or even a file, before taking this subject it is quite an achievement.  

Let the season of international service-learning begin.  

No comments: