Routine maintenance continues for the bridges that
are accessible. Political turmoil still makes it difficult to reach many sites. EcoSystems is not the only group to be affected--the entire city of Kathmandu is short of fuel while the road links with India are blocked. Discussions are under way for site surveys in
several parts of the country. A new 'hanger' design will be tested in one of the long bridges shortly, as part of the ongoing program to further improve the service life of the bearings.
In the pictures below taken in May we see how electricity after dark, even the smallest amount, a lamp with two tiny LED bulbs, transforms lives. The mother can perform house-hold chores more easily, and children can now study at night, both of which are of the extreme essence in the fight against poverty. Most children in Nepal have to work for money during the day when not in school. By providing this family with a "Mero Bakas", Nepalese for "my box", a small rechargeable battery recharged by a pedal generator every two months, people feel productive and hopeful. Children, in particular, feel that their minds are valued.
We have made good progress with the EcoPower
systems in the past two months. Complete systems (PedalGenerator, Charging Centre with its 12 V battery), Charging Boxes and the home-lighting systems have been placed in three villages. By the end of May another twelve villages will be trained and equipped. The tests will continue through the end of November, at which time the first 'commercial' designs will be complete. There has been close attention
to the electronics in each system component to ensure that the two batteries--the big 12 volt deep cycle storage battery, and the smaller 6 volt battery that shuttles power to the homes--are protected from abuse. Batteries that are protected from excessive charging or discharging last much longer.
The twin LED reading lamps in the picture below use only .06 watts. They are waiting to meet their clients. In the second picture, a woman is holding "Mero Bakas", the Nepalese "my box" refering to the rechargeable battery which they take home and connect to the lamps.