MISTICA: Small Low-cost Solar Panels

From: Alfonso Orantes (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 12:07:52 AST

Cc: "linux" <>, "Carlos R. Quan" <>

De nuevo nuevas de GKD, una lista para ayudarnos.
Es interesante como el subdesarrollo cercena nuestra imaginacion. Tienen que
inventar los del Norte lo que nuestros ingenieros y cientificos no pueden
pues no hay propositos ni prioridades nacionales para ello, aqui donde el
sol es

Puede ir directamente a

----- Original Message -----
From: g knight <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2001 7:03 AM
Subject: [GKD] Small Low-cost Solar Panels

> Dear GKD Members,
> My concerns are about helping the poor, and sharing information about
> BioDesign and our solar technique that can be used to power PCs,
> provided below.
> Yours sincerely,
> Graham Knight
> BioDesign
> -----------------------------------------
> DIY Solar: small low-cost solar panels
> BioDesign is a not-for-profit company involved with a solar PV project
> that supplies solar materials and instructions to people in Third World
> rural areas so they can assemble low-cost, affordable solar panels and
> eliminate the need for expensive dry cell batteries. This is
> particularly importnat for those who are without mains electricity and
> have no alternative to dry cells and wick lamps. We do not supply orders
> for assembled units.
> We have people in African countries who have been arranging the local
> assembly of our solar panels and, even including transport from the UK,
> they often find it is possible to power a 6v radio for under US$2.
> DIY Solar has very little resemblance to Solar Home Systems! Initially
> we supply samples and leaflets and then await the order of a Kit that
> allows anyone to easily test the concept by solar powering several
> existing local radios. When sent an outline order, we forward a proforma
> invoice for whatever is required. We have supplied samples to hundreds
> of contacts and projects are underway in several countries.
> DIY Solar training has been carried out in Madagascar, Kenya, Uganda and
> Zanzibar. The UK government DFID is considering funding evaluation
> trials in several countries. This can include training local
> 'entrepreneurs' since DIY Solar panels are far cheaper than dry cells.
> We are now introducing low cost LED torches using the latest
> developments in bright white LED 'bulbs'.
> The following projects are planned or underway. In addition, we have
> supplied materials for dozens of other projects but have not received
> any recent information about their progress:
> Ethiopia - Assembling of solar panels to power LED lamps
> Kenya - Funding of AIDs orphanage by selling assembled DIY Solar
> products; Assembling of panels for radios.
> Uganda - Individual is selling framed DIY Solar panels as reported in
> Guardian Weekly
> Sierra Leone - Assembling panels for radios
> Rwanda - Assembling of panels for radios and LED lamps to raise funding
> for War Child homes.
> Haiti - Assembling of panels for radios
> Other projects underway in Nepal, Malawi, Gambia, Nigeria, Congo but no
> details yet available
> In summary this technique permits:
> * Large savings on cost of dry cells
> * Setting-up of small enterprises creating employment solar-converting
> radios, etc.
> * Construction of low-cost solar arrays for solar charging of lead-acid
> batteries for lighting, etc.
> * Replacing of wick lamps and candles with small fluorescent lamps and
> LEDs.
> * Reducing pollution caused by dumping of many thousands of 'dead' dry
> cells on farm land.
> * Create employment for those involved in projects or running solar
> charging stations
> We send low-cost sample kits for NGOs who wish to consider starting a
> business with DIY Solar. This does not require any knowledge of solar
> power or electricity. We intend to develop low-cost low-flow solar water
> pumping for shallow wells. We can also offer a low-cost unbreakable
> commercially-made solar panel allowing solar converted radio/cassettes
> to be portable.
> We now have an email group to whom we send regular eNotices reporting
> progress. This includes several British embassy members abroad who
> contact local NGOs trying to help them import solar materials.
> An email from a Sierra Leone radio journalist contained the following
> comment:
> "They (rural people) cannot afford to buy radio sets and continue to buy
> batteries (which don't even last long). Ironically, the UNDP have being
> issuing very expensive so-called wind up radios. I see this as a waste
> since the cost of one of those radios could have bought over 40 radios
> that could be powered by solar panels.
> What the problem is, is that no consultation is being made to determine
> what is workable and practical for the rural people. The whole thing is
> very political and ignorant on the side of the implementators. It is all
> just a matter of the makers of the Baygen radios trying to sell their
> Luxurious products which don't even make it to the actual people. People
> like me should have being contacted for sound views and advice."
> BioDesign, 15 Sandyhurst Lane, Ashford, Kent TN25 4NS UK
> Tel/Fax +44-1233-626677

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