Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Solar Electricity in Rwanda

In May 2015, we installed a solar electrical system in each of 45 households, where they had no electrical power.  Each consists of a set of 2 solar panels, a car battery, 3 sets of LED lights, a phone charger, a controller and the wiring to connect them all together.  

In January 2016, a colleague and I went back to check on the systems, fix some of the problems and to scout sites for projects in May 2016.  

One of home owners, a young women, had made some money buying and selling beans. She bought a new house.  She dismantled the system installed in her home, moved the equipment to her new house, and installed the system in her new house, all by herself.  The system works perfectly.  We checked the wiring and found that she had done it better than many of our students.  

This is really amazing.  And gratifying.  Not only are the systems useful for the people here, they have learned the skills to maintain the systems themselves.  This is part of the reason we are so happy to work in Rwanda, and keep coming back.  

This coming summer, we are determined to improve the design and install more systems so that more people can benefit from the electricity.  We are also planning some exciting new projects.  

We salute out Rwandan friends.  

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