solar panels desert sunset
solar mexico
renewable energy
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Links:
Kyocera Solar

Mexico Solar Potential Map

Solar Household Energy, Inc.
"HotPot" Ovens


SolAqua Solar Water Distillers

Nightstar Battery- less Flashlights
Renewable Technologies
Solar Electricity
Northern Mexico has among the best potential for solar power in the world (For a look at a solar energy potential map click here ).  With the Foundation's help, we have purchased five solar electric systems from local electricians for about $550 per home and installed them ourselves. 

The system includes a 35 Watt solar panel, a "deep cycle" battery designed for solar use, and three fluorescent lights.  The solar panel is expected to provide electricity for 30 years (it has a 20 year warranty), with minimal costs to replace batteries and light bulbs.

The battery stores enough energy to provide light for several hours every night, providing much better light while avoiding costs for candles.  Most families in the region also run a small radio or television using solar power.

For more information on Kyocera solar panels visit their website at
www.kyocerasolar.com/products
solar panel
Flourescent Light

Solar "Hot Pot" Ovens
Solar ovens are a great labor-saving and cost-effective alternative to cooking over the traditional wood fire.  The Hot Pot can be left outside during daylight hours to cook many types of food.  It reduces the labor and environmental impact of collecting wood, as well as reducing the exposure of women and children to indoor smoke.

Our friends at Solar Household Energy, Inc. (SHE, a Washington DC-based nonprofit) have successfully demonstrated the Hot Pot through community projects also in the north of Mexico, and are planning to produce Hot Pots in Monterrey.

While SHE has found that Hot Pot ovens do not replace all wood-based cooking needs, it is popular, cost-effective and can be used daily.  We are collaborating with SHE to plan demonstrations of the Hot Pot in the communities we support, as a way of introducing the technology to a new region of Mexico.

For more information about the Hot Pot visit Solar Household Energy at www.she-inc.org
HotPot DemoHot Pot diagram

Battery-less Flashlights
Flashlights are used sparingly in Lavaderos because batteries are expensive.  An alternative is a durable, long-lasting flashlight that does not use batteries.  This flashlight gets power just by shaking it - a magnet pases through a wire and generates power that is stored in a capacitor.  The LED bulb is expected to last a long time and they are sealed and waterproof. 

We have purchased several such flashlights for families to try - these families suggested that the flashlights are a great asset and avoid significant expenses for candles or batteries.  With sufficient donations, we can consider buying these flashlights in bulk at a significant discount, to help many families in the regions.

For more information about the Nightstar flashlight pictured here visit  www.nightstarflashlight.com
flashlight

Solar Water Distillers
Water is the most precious resource in the desert.  There are no wells in the community because they are too expensive, so rainwater is collected in deposits.  This rainwater is not safe to drink, and so families need to boil the water using wood fires. 

A solar water distiller can provide safe drinking water, replacing the need to boil water. The distiller is basically a box  in which water is evaporated and collected, and the distiller is expected to last many years.  The distiller can provide better quality water while reducing labor and the health and environmental impacts of wood burning.

For more information about distillers visit the website of manufacturer SolAqua at www.solaqua.com
Solar water distiller



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