In much of the world, when the sun sets, education stops, commerce stops, medical treatment stops, due to lack of light and electricity. Villagers often burn kerosene lamps which pollute the air in their houses and require costly fuel.
The VTS Solution
VillageSolutions developed Village Sun Lights in partnership with VTS to bring light to rural homes in the developing world. The Village Sun Lights system evolved from a first generation model called the EcoPower system. The EcoPower system was comprised of a human pedal-powered electrical generator and an energy storage and distribution system.
The EcoPower system underwent field trials in 2007, providing light and power to 14 villages throughout Nepal. Through extensive field testing and evaluation of resulting impact on these communities, the EcoPower system was redesigned and improved to adapt to the specific needs and culture of the people of Nepal.
Several factors contributed to redesign, including social issues around pedaling the device and a preference for household solutions, rather than community-wide solutions. VillageSolutions and VTS used these findings to translate the EcoPower system’s technology into a solar-powered system for individual use.
The current Village Sun Lights system is comprised of low-cost solar panels, a rechargeable battery protected by a charging circuit, and small LED lamps for home use. School children can study at night and their parents can cook and work after dark with no health hazards.
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