Journey form Training to Trainer : As Light of Hope Continues

                           

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                      Energy has been one of the basic requirement of human beings. The traditional use of fossil fuel is gradually shifting with advent of cleaner and greener technology. And change in people perception and consciousness about climate impacts, global warming and green house effects. RAN (Robotics Association Nepal) is one of Nepal’s best institutions trying to promote technology for generating holistic relation between machine and human.

                             The #LIGHTOFHOPE is audacious project initiated by RAN with agenda to connect rural livelihood to basic energy use like lighting and charging system. The process is to connect rural and earthquake affected area to primary energy use. The deprivation of energy & energy crunch is not only hampering economic activities but education of students. So #lightofhope aims to bring back hope to people to re-start life. Everything is broken but there stands only hope that things will get better. #LightofHope tires to embolden resilience, empathy and provide strength to return to normal living for Nepalese people who are beyond electric grid connection.

                                The Shree Nawalpur Secondary School was place for solar training and distribution. The place being in vicinity of Melamchi, still lacked proper road and electric connection. The event was already planned and well arranged by local partner YUWA Nepal. Primary task was to train ninety student, equip them for repair & maintenance, and distribute 5W solar system with light and charging system. We could see curious, energetic and bold ninety students, school authority, local experts being in school. We were really glad despite public holiday of Saturday people were kind enough to show up. The main objective was to give introduction about renewable energy, detail about solar system, component of solar system, repair & maintenance and about how solar can good business opportunity.

                                      Personally there is great difference in being with the crowd and handling the crowd. Being in training helped me to learn and nurture self. I was always obliged and felt privileged to get such opportunities. This was time to pay back or simply spread good vibes for others. I tried as much as being basic about facts and in mean time holistic. The major point I was careful not to let voids between by talks and student listening. The sessions was quite interactive, reaching student asking them and they asking back their queries. I was able to reach their psyche to some extent inspire them to lead from grass root. It was amazing to teach, hear, learn and share among students. The latter solar as business opportunities was carried out by Binod Pangeni. This session was especially designed to promote business opportunities that can or comes with solar technology. The main idea behind this was to encourage student to find solution within country and to remind them there are possibilities as well as potentialities developing country and making money in Nepal.

                                                    The journey to and fro Sindhupalchowk was full of fun. It was great conversation with fellow travelers local resident Aunt who rose my curiosity about place, her experience after earthquake, how grateful she was to have young people like us helping them, the hardship they have been through, hope & resilience they had despite their homes were completely turned down, her future dream to rebuilt house. Thanks to volunteers from Australia and Germany for being here selflessly to be part of re-construction. It was great to catch up with you guys. Oh! Driver dai, your story and reasoning and loud music system made us inexhaustible throughout travel. It simply helped us to be cheerful. Many many thanks to Bikash Gurung dai for providing wonderful opportunity to actually go to different part and shade some knowledge I had. It was great to reach people in local level and empower them. #LightofHope continues for adding hope for rural livelihood and re-construction after earthquake, shading light raising people’s aspiration.

Cheers.

About Robotics Association Nepal.

Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN), is not-for-profit, non-governmental organization which is continuously working in the field of robotics and electronics automation since its establishment (2010). Each year we celebrate festival of art, science and technology “Yantra”. Robotics Association of Nepal has built a network of students RAN Representatives (RR).

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Elon Musk: A man with Vision to transform Life

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                                     Elon Musk was born in South Africa, in 1971. His father was an engineer and his mother a nutritionist. An avid fan of computers, by the age of twelve Musk had written the code for his own video game, a space game called Blastar, which the preteen sold for a profit. Elon Musk attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned two bachelor’s degrees, economics and physics. He was admitted to Stanford University in California, with the intention of earning a PhD in energy physics, however, Musk’s life was about to change dramatically.

                                               For the uninitiated, Elon Musk is the man behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Paypal, SolarCity and Hyperloop. It is really overwhelming to see a single entrepreneur reinvent multiple industries in such a short period of time. He is transforming age-old industries like finance, space and automobile. The Tesla electric car has won rave reviews from thousands of customers for its futuristic appeal and pollution free benefits. Paypal has changed ecommerce dramatically. SpaceX is into space colonization, low cost rockets and had sent the first private vehicle to the International Space Station. A private company actually achieving this milestone when multiple nations have failed is truly epic! SolarCity deals with finding cost efficient alternatives using solar energy, thus ridding us of our dependence on fossil fuels.  Elon has been called the real life Tony Stark by the international media. His fortitude & leadership skills are testimonial to how you can face multiple failures and still create things that can change humanity within a low budget.

                                       Elon Musk, is aiming to develop supersonic electric airplanes that can take off and land vertically! The exploits of this innovator would probably give Steve Jobs an inferiority complex! He has revolutionized space travel, electric cars, online payments and is now on the quest to colonize Mars! His unconventional actions and logic defying decisions have lead to potential company shutdowns, founder wars, products almost being killed off and nearly going broke. Yet, some would argue that Elon has already surpassed Steve Jobs and is the modern avatar of Nikolas Tesla.

X.com and PayPal:

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                          In March 1999,Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services and e-mail payment company. One year later, the company acquired Confinity which operated a subsidiary called PayPal. Musk developed the person-to-person payment platform and renamed his company PayPal. PayPal’s early growth was due in large part to a successful viral growth campaign created by Musk. In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for US$1.5 billion in stock. Before its sale, Musk, the company’s largest shareholder, owned 11.7% of PayPal’s shares.

SpaceX:

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                       Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), in June 2002 and is the CEO and CTO. SpaceX develops and manufactures space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology. The company’s first two launch vehicles are the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets and its first spacecraft is Dragon. 

                            SpaceX was awarded a $1.6 billion NASA contract on 23 December 2008, for 12 flights of their Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, replacing the Space Shuttle after it retired in 2011. Initially, Falcon 9/Dragon will replace the cargo transport function of the Shuttle and astronaut transport will be handled by the Soyuz. However, SpaceX has designed Falcon 9/Dragon with astronaut transport in mind and the Augustine Commission has recommended that astronaut transport be handled by commercial companies like SpaceX. 

                                  Musk has stated that he was influenced by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, and views space exploration as an important step in expanding—if not preserving—the consciousness of human life. Musk has said that multi planetary life may serve as a hedge against threats to the survival of the human species. “An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct.” Musk’s goal is to reduce the cost of human spaceflight by a factor of 10. He founded SpaceX with $100 million of his early fortune. He remains chief executive officer and chief technology officer of the Hawthorne, California-based company.

Tesla Motors:

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                                  Musk led the Series A financing of Tesla Motors, after he financed the company with Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, JB Straubel, and Ian Wright. The Series A round included investment by several smaller investment groups, including SDL Ventures and Compass Technology Partners. As a result of the financial crisis in 2008, Musk assumed the leadership of the company and currently serves as CEO and product architect.

                      Tesla Motors first built an electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster, with sales of about 2,500 vehicles to 31 countries. Tesla began delivery of its four-door Model S sedan on 22 June 2012 and unveiled its third product, the Model X, aimed at the SUV/minivan market, on 9 February 2012. Model X is scheduled to begin production in 2014. In addition to its own cars, Tesla sells electric powertrain systems to Daimler for the Smart EV and Mercedes A Class, and to Toyota for the upcoming electric RAV4. Musk was also able to bring in both companies as long-term investors in Tesla.

                                  Musk has also favoured building a sub-$30,000 subcompact and building and selling electric vehicle powertrain components so that other automakers can produce electric vehicles at affordable prices without having to develop the products in house. Several mainstream publications have compared him with Henry Ford for his work on advanced vehicle powertrains.

SolarCity:

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                              Musk provided the initial concept for SolarCity, where he remains the largest shareholder and chairman of the board. SolarCity is the largest provider of solar power systems in the United States. His cousin Lyndon Rive is the CEO and co-founder. The underlying motivation for funding both SolarCity and Tesla is to help combat global warming. In 2012, Musk announced that SolarCity and Tesla Motors are collaborating to use electric vehicle batteries to smooth the impact of rooftop solar on the power grid. 

Hyperloop:

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                        On 12 August 2013, Musk unveiled a proposal for a new form of transportation between the Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area, after being disappointed with the approved California High-Speed Rail system. He named it “hyperloop,” a hypothetical subsonic air travel machine that stretches approximately 350 miles (560 km) from Sylmar (a northern district of Los Angeles) to Hayward (east of San Francisco) and would theoretically allow commuters to travel between the cities in 30 minutes or less, providing a shorter traveling time than even a commercial airplane can currently provide. Musk’s proposal, if technologically feasible at Musk’s claimed costs, would make travel cheaper than any other mode of transport for such long distances. Musk estimated the total cost of the system at $6 billion, but this estimate is controversial. The system is proposed to use a partial vacuum to reduce aerodynamic drag, which it is theorized would allow for high speed travel with relatively low power. It was proposed to rely completely on solar energy for all power requirements.

The basic quality which makes him different are :

1.Always be learning:

                          The amazing fact about Elon is that he is self-taught in programming, Physics and rocket science! As a kid, he used to read encyclopedias by the dozen. Apparently he turned into a bookworm since he was bullied at school and read, voraciously, to gain knowledge and understand concepts. Obviously, these books played a major role in his decision to create companies that will have a positive effect on the world.

2. Insane Work ethic:

                         Elon is a hardcore workaholic, working 100 hour weeks, and has been doing so for many years. You might even wonder if the man has a social life! He is the hardest working employee of the company and sets standards for his colleagues to follow. The chances of burnout are lower than average since he does what he loves

3. Focus on the big picture:

                           Elon has taken on extremely challenging problems that have been the bane of mankind for many decades. He has identified three main areas where he wants to make a difference (internet, clean energy & space), taking big risks in each field with no short term gains in sight. In the next 10 years, he wants to put a man on Mars and is committed to retiring on Mars with 80,000 other colonists! Many more entrepreneurs should follow Elon’s path of trying to fix real world problems that can change thousands of lives for the better.

4.Serial entrepreneurship:

                           Elon also shows us how serial entrepreneurship is not a bad idea at all, if done right. Through PayPal, Elon has helped us to make payments in seconds, thus single handedly changing worldwide ecommerce. The space industry was moving at a snail’s pace, until SpaceX came along and built space ships at a fraction of the cost that NASA incurs. Tesla electric cars appealed to customers and are likely to become more cost effective in the coming years. SolarCity could potentially be the largest American electricity provider. Elon also is credited with the creation of Zip2, which was the predecessor of Google Maps. Through these various projects, Elon has demonstrated that being a serial entrepreneur can be fun and rewarding!

5.Sacrifices galore:

                        With everything that he does, Elon really has his skin in the game. He has invested his savings in ventures that he believes in, at the risk of going broke. Elon is not afraid to make hard decisions and does not compromise on his vision. The lesson here is that you need to make sacrifices when you really like what you do.

6.The feedback loop:

                    Elon is constantly soliciting feedback and doing self-analysis. He is constantly thinking of what he has done and how it could be done better. For example, he seeks out his critics and tries to converse with them. This habit of self-reflection at regular intervals is critical for success.

7.Hands On:

                             Elon is a brilliant applied engineer and has the ability to think at the system level of design. He gets his hands dirty by working with the engineers on the ground. It is rare to see a “C level” person work hand in hand with the junior folks. He personally test-drives the changes to the Tesla car before it goes out to customers. He loves getting into the details. The man is less of a talker and more of a doer. His “lean startup” kind of approach makes him a “sleeves folded” kind of leader that people want to work with.

8.A crack team with clarity of thought:

                                 The man knows exactly what he wants and leads a team that is super intense. He hires the best minds on the planet, pays them stock and has no tolerance for bullshit. He is a bridge between the market requirements and what the engineers on the ground aspire to do. He seems to be a taskmaster of sorts but his attitude sets the culture of the team. His goal setting skills are legendary and he puts his heart and soul into achieving those goals!

9.Ambition:

                           There is not doubt that Elon is extremely motivated and driven. For instance, even after 3 launch failures of the SpaceX rocket, he had the tenacity to continue and persist through the odds. He is driven to do the “right thing” and does not bother about the status quo. His determination to overcome competitor lobbyists is amazing. The man is intrinsically motivated and pushes himself real hard. His never give up attitude gives him the ability to “stick with it.”

 Elon is being compared to the likes of Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs, Edison, Howard Hughes and James Cameron. Most companies run with the prime motive of being profitable. It is not too often that you come across a businessman who genuinely wants to change humanity. Elon is a rare business leader who is interested in mankind as a whole and wants to explore how technology can change the world we live in. Elon could be the ideal 21st century industrialist who is pushing the envelope on how business can be done. The best part about this story is that Elon has just begun!

Sources:

1.http://www.spacex.com

2.https://www.teslamotors.com

3.https://www.paypal.com/np/webapps/mpp/home

4.http://www.solarcity.com

5.http://hyperlooptech.com

Harnessing Solar Energy for Sustainability

o-SOLAR-POWER-facebook                  The diaspora of solar market is slowly shifting from archetype system to innovative one. Till few years ago solar technology was limited to affluent class, renewable energy enthusiast and people obtaining it as subsidy. But solar trend has changed completely in recent years. The trading business of solar as commodity is shifting towards energy service provider. People were taking advantage of solar system at home individually at high cost intact with limited knowledge and improper operating trends. The situation at rural was even worse as people were fed up with irregular solar functionality lack of access of operation. They even questioned on practicability of solar technology.

                      Roughly 20% of world’s population does not have access to electrical grid. It is costly in Nepal to provide access of electrical grid to people as if geographical diversity and environmental concern. Building grid will disturb pristine beauty of our hills, Himalayas and Terai where Tourism is major source of income for people. The grid won’t be sufficient though another daunting task will be electrifying grids which is near impossible for some certain future. The rural population still relies on expensive, low quality hazardous polluting light source such as candles, battery-powered flash lights, kerosene lamps. The use of solar system has significantly grown over years yet kerosene lamps still serve as the main source of light for many people.

               There are various barriers such as asymmetric information. The general lack of product awareness is preventing people who need and want solar system from obtaining it. The cost or access for financing solar technology among consumers can hinder market penetration. The lack of information about what is available on the market. Not knowing how to determine which products best suits an individual needs. Early wear out of system by improper handling and general distrust among people by same in rural areas.

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             Governmental institutions, line agencies and aids, donors must realize that a subsidGovernmental institutions, line agencies and aids, donors must realize that a subsidy driven market cannot achieve sustainability. We must need to encourage demand driven markets rather than donor driven ones. Banks and Micro-finance should be involved for capital investment. When people start making money from generating solar energy then sustainability takes care of itself. The technical and general operational guidance should be given to consumers for handling and increasing durability of products.

            The paradigm shift on solar business from selling solar as commodity to energy service provider can increase sustainability.The concept of micro grids, nano-grids, productive end use are trending into solar business. They are easy to handle both in financial and technical view-point wise. So solar technology should not be limited to certain user it should be diversified according to best suits. The decreasing cost, able to address current energy needs, roof tied grid system, flexible financing, reliable source encourages harnessing power from solar technology for sustainable growth.

Light of Hope: Nepal Earthquake Relief Program

Part 2: Solar Power Training and Distribution at Nuwakot11755164_1026813984004988_8875399286803849298_n

             The climate was cool and calm. Not a typical day of monsoon either with scorching sun nor with downpour. We were enthusiastically packing resources for distribution by gathering at 6:00 a.m in RAN building with team of energetic and motivated trainers. Those who were determined to deliver training and distribution of panel in Nuwakot. After arduous ride of micro bus we reached Nuwakot. The village was almost converted into ruined by earthquake leaving people desperate for daily needs. Most of people had temporary shelter and trying to normalize daily activities. The local distribution partner of Light of Hope had already determined location of training and points of distribution.

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          People were informed before hand about d-day so we could feel curiosity and eagerness on their face to know presence of us. The event was scheduled to be conducted in school premises. The building was full of cracks still we could see the student of graduate level reading tuitions from teacher. Infrequent electric supply and broken structure of house had completely jeopardize education of students. Our light of hope was counter for this infrequent electric supply.

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                          The training session was to clear basics about solar technology, use, repair and durability. The first sessions was about technology aspects followed by business potential on solar technology. The solar power was distributed on two location. The first was school where we conducted training and distribution for representative of four V.D.C’s (Raluga, Kharanitar, Sundaradevi and Thaprek )and remaining was supposed to be distributed at Samundratar & Betini V.D.Cs. Actually plan was to go along people who come from various V.D.Cs and demonstrate them in their own V.D.Cs but due to limited time we were unable to as planned.

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            The uphill, mud lagged, landslides made our journey to halt at various location. Even we had to walk few distance with heavy solar panel systems on our shoulder to reach distribution point. It was hell of experience and amazing journey to be on field and change life of people how subtle it may be.

           For me personally as engineer this was first humanitarian effort done on personal level. The credit goes to Bikash Gurung (Project Co-Ordinator of Light of Hope ) and Ghampower Technology who made us able trainer about solar systems, RAN for providing platform to nurture budding engineer to add and utilize our talent and skill. Last but not least kudos to efforts for our local distribution partner Lamichne Partisthan for providing local ground for making training and distribution effective by gathering needy and affected people.

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                                                                  Team for Training and Distribution

Light of Hope: Technical Aspects of Solar Technology

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Introduction to Solar P.V

– Solar P.V is used to harness power from sun by collecting photon by silicon panel

– Initial cost for installation is high but long-term return & subsidy will lessen cost

– Easy to install, repair and maintain system

– Remote location and tribal region can get access to light and mobile charging

– Community approach will significantly reduce cost of installation and repair cost

– Eco Friendly and clean energy system of power generation

Components of Solar P.V

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∗Solar Panel: It collects photon from rays striking from sun via silicon panel with doping of phosphorous.

∗Charge Controller: It is central connection of system with all supply coming to it from panel, battery, load.

∗Battery: Helps in storage of charge and provides power to load.

∗Load: Electric bulb or any electric appliances

∗Inverter: It helps to convert a.c to d.c and vice versa. Especially used in hybrid system or to operate a.c appliances.

Installation of Solar P.V

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Solar Panel is installed on roof tops or areas where there is plenty of sunshine facing north to south direction at angle of 30 degree.

Charge Controller(CC) is central system in which connection from panel, battery and load comes which help to maintain safety of system it is also provided with fuse.

Battery is most important system which is connected to CC. The battery should not be completely drained and excessive use should be avoided.

Load is connected to CC from where supply is taken to electric appliances like bulb, t.v, freeze and other accessories.

Inverter is used to convert a.c to d.c and vice versa in hybrid system or to run a.c appliances from d.c power output. It is connected after load of CC.

Repair and Maintenance

Solar panel has long life so does not require much care except cleaning of panel and preventing it from dust & dirt.

Battery should be given special care it should be kept in proper ventilated area. There should not be direct connection from battery to load. In case of acid battery we should check amount of acid and fill with distill water in later stage. The user must be provided with knowledge about depth of discharge and limit up to which we can use battery.

Charge Controller is provided with fuse for safety we need to make sure that all connection is to be made from panel, battery and load.

Solar Business in Rural Areas

Types of Solar Business in Nepal

– Solar as Trading Business

– Solar as Commodity Business

– Solar as Energy Service Provider

Solar as Trading Business

– This is simply done by buying in bulk of solar materials and selling them in market directly to clients or local solar firms.

– Unreliable form of solar business rising in Nepal

– Requires high budget and investment for starting business

– Purely money oriented system of solar business

Solar as Energy Service Provider

Here solar company owns every components and provides solar as only service to people.

∗Micro Grids

– ABC (Anchor Business Consumer)

There has to be Anchor who needs 24 hrs supply like telecom tower and chilling Vats. Some Business potential like photocopy operator, hand tools user, freeze user as business model. Finally consumers clustered around installation. The tariffs will be different for different level of users.

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∗Nano Grids

This is purely d.c system which best provides service within range of 100m. It is suitable if there is 20-30 house in cluster. The energy service provider will look after installation and consumer will pay regular tariffs of use.

rural-electrification

∗Productive End Use

The service provider will install system and provide business oriented system like freeze, saw mills, grinding mills for which client will pay downpayment and monthly tariffs.

Hope of Light : A vision to lighten Rural Nepal

Part 1 

       Training Session about Solar installation, maintenance, sustainability and developing solar entrepreneurship

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           RAN (Robotics Association of Nepal) organized two-day training program on solar installation, maintenance, sustainability and developing of solar entrepreneurship. The program motive was to train trainers who could go to remote village of Nuwakot and Dailekh to train local people and distribute solar panels with mobile charging system and LED lights. On first phase RAN was supported by gham power as training facilitator for trainees.

            The training was given by experts of gham power technology Pvt. Limited. The following topics were discussed on that day one.

– Overview of energy scenario in Nepal

– Solar Technology status in World and Nepal

– Design and calculation of Solar Capacity according to load

– Hands on learning about components of Solar Technology

           – Solar Panel

           – Charge Controller

           – Battery

            – Inverter

– Repair and Maintenance

– Connection of 20 W Solar Panel system with charge controller, battery and load

     The next day was about how can we develop and promote solar business in rural areas. The topics discussed on solar technology.

– Solar Business in Nepal

– Trading Business

– Solar as Commodity

– Solar as Energy Service Provider

– Business Co-ordination and challenges faced on rural area

                The training was effective and hands on learning made our concept clear. It provided enough knowledge and confidence for us to be able enough for becoming trainer.

Brief Description about Organisation:

RAN (Robotics Association of Nepal)

Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN) is the only national-level non-profit association that provides an outstanding platform for students and enthusiasts all over Nepal and established to promote, educate, explore, and compete in the field of robotics.
Robotics Association of Nepal has not only being conducting the workshops, training, seminars and competitions but is under the constant procedure of research and development which is believed to be increasing the level of association itself and giving them the fresh outputs to be spread to the fellow students. Research and development has been a keen subject for the association from the time of its origin, different subjects like surveillance systems, power management systems, automation, robotics, embedded systems etc has been the chief areas for the research.

Visit:

1.http://ran.org.np

2.https://www.facebook.com/nepal.ran?fref=photo

Gham Power Technology Pvt. Ltd.

Visit:

1.https://www.facebook.com/ghampower?fref=photo

2.http://ghampower.com