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Solar Rising in Village Microgrids

10/14/2014 07:35 AM EDT
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DrQuine
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CEO
Power in the 21st Century
DrQuine   10/25/2014 8:58:16 PM
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An interesting trend in the 21st century is that the essential tools for knowledge workers can be very low power devices like a cell phone, a light, and a tablet. This means that low power producing devices, like solar cells, have the potential to transform life for people in developing countries. Other necessities, like water, may become available with a low power pump that runs over an extended period rather than a high power pump that runs briefly.

Geoff Thomas
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Re: Stories from the field
Geoff Thomas   10/16/2014 8:12:14 PM
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I must admit to thinking it strange to have to do research on microgrids and small DC systems, there are so many people doing it commercially, and it is a very competitive field, how ever could a research team get the product knowledge, the ways to buy cheap, the relationships with manufacturers. ways to reduce installation costs, adherence to standards, etc.

Research is fine for inventing new batteries and such but research to be cheaper than the folk who do it for a living in a very competitive market sounds like a waste of money to me. 

Also the business will be able to dsign for the particular situation.

If there is money available to help, put the job out to tender and use the money to lower it, or better still, lend the folk money and install a meter requiring regular payment.

Lots of that tech around as well.

 

LarryM99
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CEO
Re: Stories from the field
LarryM99   10/16/2014 1:20:52 PM
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@RGarvin640, I understand your frustration with the feds, but money is always a problem. An efficient economy uses resources to get things done that need doing, or at least provides an environment in which that can happen. I was concerned for a while that the concentration of wealth in the US and other industrialized nations was leading to essentially a feudal economy where global issues would not be addressed, but a few of the ultra-rich are taking on problems like this in a remarkably effective way. I would credit the Bill Gates / Warren Buffet team for showing the way and a number of others (Mark Zuckerberg, in this case) for following their example.

By the way, common sense is very uncommon except in retrospect. :-)

Larry M.

RGARVIN640
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Manager
Re: Stories from the field
RGARVIN640   10/16/2014 11:40:56 AM
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Larry,

  It is more a sign of the gross incompetence of the governement. Money is not a problem as the last 2 years have been record years for tax collections by the federal government, even with the state of the economy. Also shows the severe lack of basic commmon sense by those in charge.

    And for the people in the top .1%, the $25M is not even a drop in the bucket.

LarryM99
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CEO
Re: Stories from the field
LarryM99   10/15/2014 7:01:16 PM
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@Rick, I am beginning to think that the increased reliance on entrepreneurs may be a consequence of the concentration of wealth over the last few decades. Case in point, the announcement that Mark Zuckerberg kicked in $25M for the CDC to fight Ebola. In the past that would have been a government handling it, but these days the 1/10th of 1 percent are showing up more often and getting things done. Good, bad, or indifferent, that seems to be what is happening.

Larry M.

rick merritt
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Re: Stories from the field
rick merritt   10/15/2014 11:47:41 AM
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@Sheetal: Good point!

Many speakers at GHTC said the trend is away from donors and toward entrepreneurs that can set up sustainable busiensses in areas like village microgrids.

Sheetal.Pandey
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Manager
Re: Stories from the field
Sheetal.Pandey   10/15/2014 2:18:28 AM
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First of all I would like to support the companies or individuals who are doing their bit to popularize the solar products. But many times I get surprised why in developing country like India, solar products still have to come via a NGO or non profit organizations. Why cant it be promotoed, supported or sold like regular electrical products. Why does it require an extra tag for helping the society or non profit.

For me I use solar lights, thinking of making a wooden panel that has atleast 3-4 solar ligths mounted because whenever power goes they are big help and no need of spending a penny also. My daughter too uses her solar table lamp.

rick merritt
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Author
Stories from the field
rick merritt   10/14/2014 11:37:17 AM
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I'd love to hear stories from the field of engineers brining electricity and/or Internet to remote villages. Tell us about your motivations, your technical and human challenges.

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