Catch the Most Comprehensive Conversations on Off-Grid Power

Over a billion people mostly spread in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are still waiting for electricity according to recent World Bank estimates. Naturally, this creates a vicious cycle impacting ensuing development indicators like poverty alleviation, food security, health and education. Globally development agencies are warming up to the emergent implications of simple and low tech off-grid solutions for achieving universal energy access. Off-grid solutions are easy to procure and cost effective in providing last-mile access to people’s homes, local businesses and public facilities. They can be powered by a variety of sources, including solar panels, wind and hydro turbines, and generators supplied by biomass or fossil fuels.

Our network member Engineering for Change (E4C), a New York-based knowledge organization has made concentrated efforts to engage and equip global communities of engineers and entrepreneurs on off-grid solutions by providing resources and platforms that accelerate the development of impactful solutions. E4C has partnered with Dr. Henry Louie, Co-Founder of Kilowatts For Humanity, to bring to their community a unique and all-inclusive webinar series that address some of the most pressing issues on energy in developing regions. The Off-Grid Energy Webinar Series will help participants:

  • Understand the need for improved electricity access in rural communities
  • Learn the fundamental principles of off-grid system components such as batteries, solar arrays, hydro and wind turbines, and biomass systems and how they can be combined to provide reliable electricity
  • Find out how off-grid systems are designed, including best practices in load and resource estimation, component sizing and project life-cycle considerations

The series kick-started on 3, October 2018 and will continue till 6, March 2019. This covers a range of issues like the need for improved electricity access in rural communities, the fundamental principles of off-grid system components such as batteries, solar arrays, hydro and wind turbines, and biomass systems and how they can be combined to provide reliable electricity. Participants can also learn how off-grid systems are designed.

epNetwork member ARED provides a Mobile Solar Kiosk which is a mobile charging point that can be attached to bicycles and mopeds. It offers a micro solution to quickly charge cell phones for people on the go, using off-grid renewable energy technology. (Photo credit: Engineering for Change)

The uptake of series has been very encouraging so far. Iana Aranda, President of Engineering for Change says: “We collected data from the first part of the series – Energy Access and Requirements of Rural Communities. We had 143 registrants of which 23% were from outside the US. During the webinar, we also experienced great engagement through a high number of interactive chats.”

In the next part of the series will take place on 16, January 2019. The goal of this webinar is de-mystifying batteries. The webinar will cover practical topics like how to interpret specification sheets, how to compare battery technologies, and how to properly interpret commonly used terminology like C-rate, amphour, and depth-of-discharge.

The team hopes to reach out to as many engineers and communities across the world and improve knowledge. “Along with seeing higher registration numbers, we want to create greater awareness and understanding of off-grid system components to help educate engineers on what they should consider as they develop their off-grid energy technologies for under-served communities,” adds Iana Aranda.

To register for the webinar visit: Generating Off-Grid Power and learn:

  • The basic operating principles of solar panels, wind and hydro turbines, and fossil fuel- and biomass-powered generators
  • Application and implementation considerations of off-grid power sources
  • The relative advantages and disadvantages of using different off-grid power sources
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