Solar Electricity for the Developing World

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by Diane Emerson, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Diane Emerson

    Diane Emerson New Member

    Oct 3, 2006
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    Grant writer, educator, gardener, marketing
    Vashon, Washington, USA
    Home Page:
    Zone 8a, Coastal Mediterranean

    Hands-on Learning

    Learn about solar electricity for the developing world in the developing world! This workshop provides an introduction to stand-alone solar-electric (PV) system design and installation, with a focus on small, rural systems. The workshop combines classroom sessions with a strong emphasis on real-world projects in the community, along with hands-on labs. You will have the opportunity to understand, design, and install lighting and cell-phone-charging systems that can dramatically improve the living conditions of the local people. This is an experiential program, with a real-world focus. Come and learn the basics of simple, stand-alone solar-electic systems for rural people by doing, sharing, and experiencing on projects in the developing world.

    Topics include:
    o Basics of Electricity
    o Meters
    o PV System Terminology & Components
    o Designing for System Efficiency
    o Energy Efficient Appliances
    o Safe Installation
    o PV Cells, Modules, & Arrays
    o Series/Parallel Principles
    o Solar Site Analysis
    o Orientation, Tilt Angles, & Shading
    o Mounting Options and Hardware Selection
    o Batteries
    o Controllers
    o Inverters
    o Wiring, Overcurrent Protection, Disconnects, & Grounding
    o Technology Transfer in the Developing World

    For millions of poor, rural people around the world, solar electricity may provide the first electric lights a family has seen, replacing darkness at sunset with the opportunity to read, study, or recreate after a day of work. This hands-on workshop teaches how give this amazing technology to the people who are most in need. In the classroom portion, workshop participants will gain a basic understanding of the principles of small, stand-alone solar-electric systems and their design and installation. In labs and in three real-world installations, participants will learn in by doing, while helping improve the lives of local people.

    Our program is focused on learning through hands-on work. We'll spend about one-third of our time in the classroom, studying solar electricity technology basics. The rest of our time will be in the field or lab, getting our hands dirty, learning by doing. The course is taught in both English and Spanish. Price includes dorm bed, all meals and in-country transportation. Ask about options for family members not taking the workshop.

    Instructor: Ian Woofenden, Senior Editor, Home Power Magazine. For more on Ian, click here:

    US $1,625 includes:

    • Instruction, tools, and materials

    • In-country transportation

    • Dorm lodging

    • Three delicious meals a day

    • Enjoyment of trails and reserve facilities

    Villas Mastatal

    Villas Mastatal is an integral educational organic farm of 20 hectares (about 50 acres) of amazing forests, rivers, waterfalls, and natural resources, located just outside La Cangreja National Park and a 20 minute walk from the remote village of Mastatal in Costa Rica. Villas Mastatal is a traditional Costa Rican farm and has been family owned and operated since the 1970s. It is now an educational and environmental conservation project where groups of students, volunteers and visitors can learn the day to day running of a tropical organic farm.

    Our workshop schedule is designed to give you time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and people of Mastatal. We try to take a two-hour lunch/siesta break in the middle of each day, and we take the middle day of the workshop off from our project work and study, to go on 
recreational or cultural trips in the area. Our past groups have experienced an educational, exciting, and inspiring time while having fun with a great group of people.

    In addition, Villas Mastatal and the community of Mastatal have fine examples of:
    • Sustainable agriculture, forestry, and living
    • Small renewable energy systems
    • Micro-enterprise and ecotourism
    • Composting and biodigester toilet and wastewater management systems
    • Nature study and awareness
    • Natural building
    • Medicinal plants & indigenous skills

    Here is a video of what life is like at Villas Mastatal:

    To learn more and reserve your spot, click here:
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