Monday, June 2, 2008

A Pueblo Nuevo Update

I went out to Pueblo Nuevo, the village in which we installed a microhydro electric generator and battery charging station last August. It was instructional and encouraging. Some of the things we did have not been successful in the long term, but the general idea of getting them to adapt, maintain, and own the system has been a big success.

The sluiceway, or canal, that brings water from a dam of sorts, has been renovated. In an effort to get more water to the generator, they have removed the corrugated zinc roofing that we installed and built a replacement with wooden planks. It is capable of running with deeper water, but it leaks terribly. That's an easy thing to fix with some roofing tar, however. I think I like their design better.

(blue hydrogenerator with wooden canal, newly installed and adapted by villagers)

(newly designed intake at the sandbag dam)

(villager-designed debris screen)

Secondly, they wired a couple of homes with lights. For this I commend their initiative. However, they are a little inexperienced in this area, and the result is that you have to have the lights on at house number two before you can have lights on at the church! I wonder how long it took them to figure out that one?

I think we can do some good work here, upgrading their system and running power lines (wired correctly) to many of the homes. The battery charging and lantern charging business was not so popular, but lights in the homes seem to be desired. The main problem is they cannot afford the wire to connect them to the generator.

That's where we come in. The business we are forming will be the owner of the grid, and the village level business will collect fees to pay off the costs of installing the grid. The connection fee will be digging the trench for the cables.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I'm enjoying reading about your experiences.