US students take power to Tanzanian villages
INNOVATIONS| July 19, 2012, 8:42 a.m.
A group of US students will travel to Tanzania next month to install solar energy syatems at a number of village schools and hospitals.
The students, from Oregon Institute of Technology(Oregon Tech), will travel to Tanzania next month to join their professor, Dr. Slobodan Petrovic, where they will install solar energy systems for schools and hospitals. The trip is part of Oregon Tech's BS in Renewable Energy Engineering (BSREE) degree program.
After volunteering in Tanzania in 2009, Dr. Petrovic teamed up with students from Oregon Tech's Department of Electrical Engineering & Renewable Energy (EERE) in Portland to help build a sustainable new model for changing the energy outlook in Africa, and provide hands-on experience in the design and installation of renewable energy technology.
"What I always say is that we give these people the gift of light and the gift of communication," Dr. Petrovic says.
Each year since 2010, another batch of 10 students travels to Tanzania to continue Oregon Tech's work providing energy for schools, hospitals and orphanages. This year the students will also take eight laptops allowing villages access to the internet as connections allow.
For the first time this trip, the group will revisit past sites to install equipment invented by last year's seniors that allow monitoring of the solar systems online. The data will allow Dr. Petrovic to ensure the installations stay working.
The humanitarian work also is made possible by donations from Hillsboro-based SolarWorld. SolarWorld has donated 30 panels to the program, and is invested in continuing to help it grow.
"This is about more than simply installing solar panels; it's about facilitating access to education, communications, medical services and clean, safe drinking water," says Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America.
The initial inspiration for the program came about during Dr. Petrovic's 2009 trip to Tanzania, when a terrible accident changed his perspective forever. "There was a girl in the dormitory in one of the schools using a candle hidden under her blanket so she could read," Dr. Petrovic says. "She fell asleep, and her blanket caught fire. Thirteen girls died. I want to prevent these tragedies."
In addition to installing solar panels, this year Dr. Petrovic and his students will build a large solar water pumping project to provide drinking water for a village of 3,000 people on Lake Nyasa.
MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS
UN, XPRIZE seek innovation in learning technologiesThe XPRIZE Foundation with the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have announced a new partnership for the US$15 Million Global Learning XPRIZE. Read More
ITU Telecom World Awards to recognise ICT innovatorsInnovative ICT solutions with positive social impact will be recognised and rewarded at ITU Telecom World 2016, the leading UN global technology event taking place this year in Bangkok, Thailand. Read More
WAITRO agitates for knowledge transfer into solutionsThe World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organisations (WAITRO) and African Research Organisations are meeting in Gaborone to chart a way forward that will see a transfer of technological knowledge into solutions for the improvement of lives. Read More
African Innovators stun 2016 Global Innovation CompetitionAt the recent Global Innovation Competition awards staged in Accra, five young African innovators from Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria and Mozambique were awarded with various cash prizes to help them to develop and implement their innovative idea to benefit their respective communities. Read More
Hospitium brings 7D cinema to BotswanaHospitium, a 100 percent youth owned entertainment company, is changing Botswana’s cinema landscape by ushering in the 7D cinema experience. Read More
BIH Science, Technology Park opening in 2016The Innovation Hub conceived Science and Technology Park, which is being constructed on the fringes of the Botswana Diamond Park and Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, is expected to be ready for use during the current year. Read More
Nigerian students in electric car crowdfunding driveA group of Mechanical Engineering students from the University of Lagos has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support development of a zero-emission automobile built to reduce global warming. Read More
Government upbeat about hosting the IPA awardsBotswana is celebrating 50 years of independence in September this year and the pronouncement that the country is going to host the the 5th Innovation Prize for Africa event in Gaborone in the same year is a welcome development. Read More
Innovation Prize for Africa 2016 comes to BotswanaBotswana has won the bid to host the fifth annual Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). IPA is a landmark programme of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), whose purpose is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit in Africa. Read More
Volvo Cars, Ericsson developing intelligent media streaming for self-driving carsVolvo Cars is looking ahead to when its drivers can sit back and enjoy free time in their car on the daily commute. Read More
FEATURED STORYCriticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecs
The CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSKeeping up with the mobile banking evolution
Africa especially has witnessed the trend of mobile banking, due to the well-known fact that today more people on the continent have access to a mobile phone ...