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Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power

by Appropriate Technology Collaborative
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Carbon Credit for Humanitarian Solar Power
Kids in Chitas reading at night
Kids in Chitas reading at night

As COVID19 cases continue to rise in Guatemala, keeping families healthy is more important than ever. Meanwhile, the environmental crisis remains and the world is adjusting to the new economic crisis.  

This quarter, we provided a sense of security to 315 un-electrified children with a simple solar lamp: saving the family money on candles, and creating a safe, lit space so the family can read or weave. Each solar lamp abates 2.8 tons of carbon dioxide, collectively we’ve abated over 882 tons of C02 this year. 

Since the national quarantine restricts travel across departments, we worked with our trusted community partners, school principals at two solar schools,  to receive the solar lights by mail and distribute the solar lights to their students.  We tracked the donation with school enrollment lists and photographs and when travel is approved, we’ll do a follow-up visit with the children and parent, engaging them with activities that raise environmental awareness.

This month, we are also partnering with two community partners to distribute water filters to 100 rural families who lack potable water. Our partners will undergo a social impact study of the water filters to provide an third party assessment of our work. 

We’ve achieved these activities and much more with full social distancing and reduced contamination from transportation.

Girl at home with new solar light
Girl at home with new solar light

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Solar-20
Solar-20

Most solar power systems distributed in less / least economically developed countries are small, about 1 - 3 watts.  These systems are bright enough for one person to study by but really not sufficient for a family.  With your help we are producing larger 10 watt systems that have several lights for a rural household plus a cell phone charger.  Some systems even have radios that run off of a solar USB outlet.  

Our new Solar 20 systems are designed to last 20 years, about four times longer than typical solar power systems used in humanitarian development.  

Your support for our Carbon Credits program helps defer half the cost of a 10 watt Solar 20 solar home system making solar more affordable to many more families in rural Western Guatemala.  

We collect your donations that offset five tons of carbon emissions per household, but now with our 20 year systems we expect families to use even less kerosene in their homes and emit even less greenhouse gasses.  We will still count just five tons of CO2e per household but your donations will likely offset a lot more carbon than originally anticipated!  

Attached please find a link to a short video we prepared for the Department of Energy who has sponsored our work on 20 year solar batteries.

Many thanks,

 

John

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Installing LED Lights
Installing LED Lights

Yesterday, December 30, 2019 a group of Appropriate Technology Collaborative volunteers installed solar power on a home in Quixaya Guatemala.  The family had been living by candle light all their lives and last night was their first bright night.  The family has agreed to let us switch their solar power system to a prototype of our Solar.20 long lasting solar power system later this year.  We expect valuable feedback on how the systems compare and we plan on incorporating this into our final design.  

We made a short video on the last night without electricity and the installation of the new system.  We will post the video and provide a link when it is finished.  

Today is the last day of 2019.  It has been a great year for The Appropriate Technology Collaborative.  We received international recognition for our solar projects and valuable support from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop our Solar.20 solar power systems.  

We've won three awards this year!

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association selected our Solar School Computer Lab project with the community of Tiritibol as an exemplary project in the field of renewable energy!

In 2018, ATC and community volunteers installed solar power to electrify classrooms and run a laptop computer lab at Tiritibol Primary School - a village 3 hours away from the nearest high school.

It was a true collaborative project: supporters in the US donated used laptops; volunteers brought them down, donors covered installation costs, the community covered food and locally available materials.

The goal was to teach 180 rural school children how to type so they could access the same modern education of their urban counterparts. With basic computer skills, rural kids have a chance at high school, professional jobs, and university to break out of poverty.

In a follow-up visit we returned to find that the laptop computers are not only teaching children how to type, but they began a distance high school program online! 

This year the first 7 teenagers are going to high school in their rural village, and that number is going to keep growing every year as their younger siblings get a head start with computer classes. 

PS: Still trying to remember the other two awards this year?

  • In June we won the Energy Globe Award for Guatemala innovative solutions to climate change. 
  • In October we won the American Made Solar Prize for designing a family of long life solar power kits. 

Looking forward to 2020 we will be interviewing foundations and nonprofits who work in the of Humanitarian Solar Power to start the process of expanding our Carbon Credits program.  

First LED Light
First LED Light

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Solar-20
Solar-20

For many of the families who purchase Mayan Power and Light Solar Home Systems (SHS) we are the first, only and last solar technology providers they will ever see.  We bring bright LED lights, cell phone chargers and other electronics to very remote parts of Guatemala. 

However, all SHS sold today have a problem.  Solar panels are very durable, they produce free electricity for about 20 years.  LED lights are much the same, they last even longer than solar panels.  SHS electronics don't wear out, but batteries do.  At the end of 5 years batteries don't hold much of a charge.  Some types of batteries quit working altogether.  

When batteries fail many families abandon their Solar Home Systems. Some revert to burning kerosene lamps and candles to see at night even though 75% of their SHS still works!

We are designing a new battery management system where the batteries last about as long as the solar panels. Our goal is to design a SHS where all the components are matched such that they all last about 20 years, hence the name Solar-20. So far we have designed a proof of concept circuit board that extends the life of a single Lithium battery cell. Now it’s time for testing and building battery packs for the long run!

Here is a short video on Solar-20:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVc-nuHCXTI

Our Solar-20 battery project is moving to the front burner at ATC tech. development in Ann Arbor MI. Solar-20 is part of the American Made Solar Challenge, a rapid pace competition designed to bring new innovative solar products to market. In just a few months we will have proof of concept models for several different SHS.

Thank you for helping us get solar power to more families while saving tons of greenhouse gasses!

American Made Solar Challenge
American Made Solar Challenge

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Energy Globe Award
Energy Globe Award

We just got word today - Mayan Power and Light as been selected Guatemala's most sustainable solution by Energy Globe in 2019! 

 

First of all, Thank You for participating in our Humanitarian Carbon Credit program. You are cooperating with Mayan Power and Light social businesses to offer subsidized solar power to approved applicants.      

Getting solar power into the hands of the rural poor directly reduces carbon emissions for years to come, while improving rural health and wealth.  The family's financial contribution to their solar equipment ensures it's proper ownership and care so that solar power lasts into the long term. Mayan Power and Light businesses offer replacement parts for a sustainable, economic solution to climate change. 

The Carbon Credit program will connect you directly to the families who recieve clean lighting for the first time, in our effort for transparency and trust.    We consider you a partner in a collaborative effort for a real solution to current crises in climate change, poverty, migration, and gender equality.

Consider joining us for a solar service trip in Guatemala to learn basic solar power skills alongside community members in an intercultural effort to spread acceptance of green solutions.

Organize your own group's sponsored solar project at info@apptechdesign.org

Rosy displays 10 Watt solar kit and water filter
Rosy displays 10 Watt solar kit and water filter

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Organization Information

Appropriate Technology Collaborative

Location: Ann Arbor, MI - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
John Barrie
Ann Arbor, Michigan United States
$7,276 raised of $10,000 goal
 
106 donations
$2,724 to go
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