Recently New York Newsday covered the incredible work that IEEE, Sirona Cares and Nextek Powers System are doing to design, create and deploy much needed solar trailers for earthquake ravaged Haiti. These 1.5kw trailers have the ability to charge 40 batteries that Haitian residents will take to their homes to generate power for lights and charge cell phones, laptops and other portable devices. These trailers will also help bolster the economy by allowing Haitian franchisees to lease the trailers and then charge a small fee to residents to rent the batteries and re-charge them. To see the Newsday article in its entirety, please click here.
Viewing entries tagged
Solar-power stations housed in six trailers are sitting aboard a cargo ship heading to Grand Goâve, Haiti a town of nearly 50,000 inhabitants in southern Haiti that was 90 percent destroyed in last year's earthquake. The SunBlazer solar trailers were developed by a team of dedicated IEEE volunteers who answered an IEEE challenge to provide low-cost, reliable electricity to a poor rural area. The team, formed by Life Fellow Ray Larsen, Fellow Robin Podmore, and Senior Member (and Nextek employee) Liang Downey, has spent almost two years designing and building the power stations, now in its first proof-of-concept deployment by the IEEE Community Solutions Initiative group.
CSI, a not-for-profit group within the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), is committed to the open-source design and delivery of power stations to the world's poorest and most energy-deprived populations. Larsen and Podmore co-chair the group, which is composed entirely of volunteers.
For the complete article recently published on the IEEE’s “The Institute” web magazine, click here.
In a country where just 1 in 7 citizens have access to electricity, Sirona Cares and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) plan on bringing light and small business opportunities to rural Haiti. Generous donations of time, money and resources by IEEE members societies, IEEE Foundation, Nextek Power Systems, Russell Engineering and private donors has allowed the team to develop and soon deploy solar trailers that will produce 1 kW of electricity each…enough to charge 40 home battery kits daily, bringing electricity to homes and facilities that desperately need this simple utility. The organizing IEEE group is called the Community Solutions Initiative (communitysolutionsinitiative.org) in which Nextek has several key members including CEO Paul Savage, VP of Engineering Wayne Gutschow and Liang Downey, Director. The Sirona business plan is to establish sustainable local businesses, not charity. These simple trailers are easy to deploy and maintain. The product (electricity) is desperately needed within the community and the businesses will be locally owned franchises to provide affordable solutions to the community, as well as create accountability and dignity for business owners. The initial pilot program will deploy 6 units this spring, followed by the full pilot program which will deploy a total of 15 units. Ultimately the full scale plan will be to deploy electricity to at least 1,000,000 people (1/10th of the entire population of the country) over the first five years of operation.
While the Pilot program depends on donated seed funding, a Haitian corporation, Sirona-Haiti, has been established to oversee the pilot operation while raising an estimated $38M in venture capital to establish in-country manufacturing. This will provide another source of jobs and income for local Haitians while fueling rapid growth in which all profits are reinvested in-country. Nextek, along with Russell Engineering who designed the trailer, under Wayne Gutschow has served as the electrical system designer and integrator for the entire enterprise; its amazing volunteer team deserves great credit for the impressive success to date.