First of all, an enthusiastic and heartfelt THANK YOU to our generous donors. For you who offered the challenge grants and the many who responded so enthusiastically--you are great. Our team in Nepal is now reviewing all of the test sites as well as several new areas to select a "Village 100". Having completed the necessary 'technical' trials, we now move on to refine the business model for a Village Power and Light 'company'. We will evaluate what it takes ~ probably a service market of at least 100 homes, plus one or more other 'business' applications. Your financial assistance will be used to get the systems into the hands of the users as rapidly as possible.
The first 'harvest' of data are in from the fifteen village test sites of the PedalGenerator and its lighting systems. This data identified parts of the system that need strengthening, and additional features that will make the systems easier to use and more beneficial.
With funding principally from the World Bank's Development Marketplace, EcoSystems provided fourteen communities in Nepal and one in Haiti with the PedalGenerator, PowerCentre (battery storage), and UserBox (home lighting) systems. In Nepal the village sites were selected by two NGOs that focus on rural development.
In each community an individual or group 'entrepreneur' was trained to operate and make minor repairs to the equipment. They kept records of the time the generators ran; the electrical output; the number of times each home-battery was recharged; villagers' ideas for improvements... At the end of November, in exchange for their cooperation in this trial, the entrepreneurs and the collaborating families were each given title to their equipment.
EcoSystems has been fortunate this year to have the assistance of a number of highly qualified volunteers, who have helped to train our Nepali staff, solve mechanical and electronic challenges, and redesign the equipment to include all he improvements noted during the field trials.
The new UserBox, which serves as the power source in an individual home, has been redesigned. The first batch of new circuit boards will arrive in Nepal in March, and appear in rural homes within weeks.
EcoSystems (soon to be known as VillageTech Solutions ~ VTS) is a finalist in a new Development Marketplace competition called "Lighting Africa". If successful in this competition, the DM program will enable VTS to find and train distributors in Africa to carry the EcoPower system.
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Thanks to 115 donors like you, a total of $31,081 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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