Give Pedal-Generated Light to Millions of Nepalis

 
£15,822
£9,631
Raised
Remaining

Give Pedal-Generated Light to Millions of Nepalis

Give Pedal-Generated Light to Millions of Nepalis

Village child carries home the first UserBox

Village child carries home the first UserBox
Most rural people have no hope to be connected to a 'grid' wire. It's too expensive. They live too far away. EcoSystems uses a handy 2 pound rechargeable battery to shuttle power to these homes. The battery provides weeks of LED light -- 300 hours of a pair of LEDs -- 30 hours with 10 LED pairs.

Schoolgirl with 2-LED lamp ~ studying

Schoolgirl with 2-LED lamp ~ studying
A single LED pair gives this girl enough light for reading and homework. In the evening many families have only hearth light while they are cooking, or perhaps a kerosene wick in a bottle. The LED lamp is bright, cool, and safe--no fire danger, no fumes, no need to purchase kerosene, or consume more fuel from the forest or field.

A pool of light from one LED pair.

A pool of light from one LED pair.
LEDs are 'task' lights. They light up a narrow arc as shown here. Most families also want 'area' light. Multiple LEDs can be combined to achieve that effect. Many families quickly stretch wires from the UserBox to other rooms, bringing light throughout their homes.

The PedalGenerator arrives in a village

The PedalGenerator arrives in a village
Where there is no other option for power, people can make their own. 50-70 watts is enough to run an A/V center in a school, bringing light and education. Pedaled for 8 hours per day, it can light a hundred homes or more, depending on the energy used in each home. Where power is unreliable, the PedalGenerator can be a backup. A PedalGenerator and the PowerCentre are the core of a small business ~ a Village Light and Power Company.

Nepali woman generates power

Nepali woman generates power
Frequently we are asked whether women will be inhibited from pedaling. Our experience is that those who are dressed as this woman have no concern. They participate readily. The seat can be adjusted to fit nearly any person, tall or short. At one cycle per second, the generator supplies about 60 watts to the PowerCentre's 12 volt battery.

Woman and child take their UserBox home

Woman and child take their UserBox home
Fourteen Nepali villages were equipped with a PedalGenerator, PowerCentre and fifteen to twentyfive UserBoxes in the spring and summer of 2007. The villagers kept records which are now being used to make the systems more robust. Light is liberating.

Shrijana Rayamajhi demonstrates the UserBox

Shrijana Rayamajhi demonstrates the UserBox
Family members in each of the 14 participating villages attended a training class. For many of them this is the first electrical device in their homes. The first application is for home lighting. Most homes started with two LED pairs, but the battery can run as many as 20 pairs easily.

Training session for village women operators

Training session for village women operators
Women's groups often are formed to help the members become literate. A common second task is that they form a savings group. The dilemma is to find something useful in which to invest. Several of the participating village groups are such women's organizations, enabling them to become the Village Power company.

Training for the home lighting systems

Training for the home lighting systems
In a village environment where mechanical devices are limited to simple, utilitarian tools such as the plow and sickle, the appearance of a machine that makes electricity is a leap for everyone--the trainer as well as the eager recipients. Fourteen villages offered to be partners in the first round. Their early version equipment will now be upgraded.

Funded

Thanks to 115 donors like you, a total of £15,822 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Project Leader

David Sowerwine

Managing Director
Menlo Park, California United States

Where is this project located?