Hello again from sunny Lesotho!
Lots of exciting news to share this month. February was slated for completion of the educational system at the National University (NUL) that you have been hearing so much about. Amy and I arrived mid-month to find that our team had things mostly complete, so we have been working on dotting i's, crossing t's, and getting the electronic automated tracking system installed. Today everything really came together - the system was following the sun on its own, heated up the water reservoir to almost boiling in under half an hour, and looks great! (Pictures included!) Tomorrow is the hand-off meeting where the faculty at NUL will take over from us - as of next semester, this will be integrated into one of the project courses for the Physics and Electronics students as a hands-on example of both thermodynamics and embedded programming and controls. You'll see in the picture we ran a "test lab" on our own team - our interns are reading the temperature and flow gauges on both ends of the trough to observe the temperature differential from one side to the other. Science is so much easier to grasp when one can SEE it!
In other very, very exciting news, our new website and video are finally ready to share. They both went live this week - please go see what's new! The web address is the same as always (www.stginternational.org), and you will find our short video linked from the front page or under the "What We Do" section. Comments and suggestions are very much welcome as we optimize the new look and environment to match people's interests!
As we wrap up these two projects, you may be thinking: what comes next? The answer is: a new manufacturing facility! We actually broke ground already this week adjacent to our workshop, preparing a 10m x 15m area for a new concrete slab. As long as things go well with Lesotho's elections this weekend (!), the concrete will hopefully be poured in March. Designs are still coming in for the building itself, but it is our hope that this solar-dedicated facility will be ready by mid-2015. The new space is going to be optimized for solar construction and prepare the team for any number of new projects to come...!
Very much looking forward to sharing more photos and stories as they develop - and we are working hard to get more photo galleries up on the website as well to keep you informed. Thank you again for all of you who have followed us this far and continue to provide a backdrop of support and enthusiasm for our work!
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