I have been involved with Engineers Without Borders UK for around 4 years, after going on a one-year placement working on remote rural power supply systems for an NGO in the Philippines, called SIBAT.
EWB-UK is a student run organisation trying to connect engineers with the field of international development. They do this through placements, training and outreach programs.
EWB Edinburgh branch (they also have a web-page here) were running a 4 day event relating to Energy and International Development, with days on general development issues, solar PV, wind and water and sanitation. I was invited to run a practical session on solar PV, as I have done for the Royal Academy of Engineering and for the Small Is… Festival (run by EWB-UK and Practical Action).
The day started with talks from Milan Delor (on his access to energy work with Practical Action), Alistair Cook (on his placement in Bolivia) and myself. I spoke a bit about my time in the Philippines and projects I had worked on and issues that arose. I then covered basic theory relating to designing stand-alone power supply systems. The afternoon was then taken up with a practical session where in small groups each had to design and build a PV powered stand-alone power system to supply the load I allocated. The loads included a radio, lighting, mobile phone charging and powering a laptop. There were around 25 participants who hopefully had an interesting day.
Explaining how to use wire crimps.
OK, it wasn’t that sunny, but they did work.
Reviewing the systems ‘in the field’.
All photos taken by Keith Buffard, cheers.