Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

Dr. Camille Crittenden introduced the work by her organization CITRIS (http://citris-uc.org/) which is a collaboration between four UC campus in the SF Bay area: Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz, on humanitarian technology innovations and applications, in four core initiatives:

  • Data and Democracy
  • Health care
  • i4Energy
  • Intelligent Infrastructures


Under those initiatives, Tech applications have been developed to solve problems in  various areas, e.g.,

  1. Human Rights
    • Crisis mapping, remote sensing, video, forensic analysis, DNA, demographic data collection & analysis
  2. Governance & Democracy
  3. Economic development
    • Microfinance through crowd-sourced loans (http://www.Kiva.org)
    • SMS – popular tool to support agricultural decision-making
  4. Healthcare
    • mHealth: mobile applications for remote diagnostics  and care, use of SMS for medical advice
  5. Infrastructure
  6. Monitoring & evaluation
    • Surveys, remote data collection for feedbacks

Innovative Technologies for participatory assessment, e.g.:

Current challenges include:

  • Poor literacy rates
  • Regional conflicts
  • Climate changes
  • Health emergencies – Ebola, H1N1 etc.
  • Uneven access to the Internet and ICTs across the World

Growing number of communities involving in ICT:

  • Research funded by government and private investors
  • New programs by:
    • USAID
    • UCB Blum center
    • Development Impact Lab
    • Development engineering
  • GHTC and similar conferences

For more information on CITRIS and their projects, please contact the speaker at:


iPhone6 436

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Energy Talks!

Alternative Energy In Peru

5 gallon bucket as energy generator. What happens when we leave?

Improvement of quality of life, money saved, savings lead to more food, increased literacy, reduction of kerosene lamps, increased access to markets, reducing urban migration

Alternative energy in Peru

Solar Thermal!


Sustainable Solar Electrification for Rural Communities in Cameroon

This one had a bunch of math. Makes way more sense to check out the slides than anything I would have typed or drawn.

Same with Economic Challenges of Energy Poverty



Intermittent power production
Non local energy resources Unpredictable weather patterns Test bench created at UW-Madison

Wind turbine emulator. Taking to Uganda to pilot!

South Sudan Rural Electrification Project


We don’t send a bunch of people into the country, work with people from the diaspora who go back and mobilize their villages to carry out the work. Schools, Clinics, Multipurpose Centers.

99% of the population has no access to electricity.

  • Students can’t study
  • Difficult to cook
  • Can’t charge small electronics

Challenges and obstacles

  • Geographical – transit, etc
  • Political – in flux
  • Educational/Technical
  • Economic/Financial
  • Taxation – not streamlined, so not predictable

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Community Solutions Initiative

Incubate off-grid electricity businesses!
* Create sustainable off-grid businesses for home lighting
* Standardize Tech and Biz Models
* Partner with for-profit franchise Parent companies to do all sorts of things (see slides) * Apply IDE – *Incubate, Develop, Educate* framework
* Raise seed funding through IEEE Foundation for 10 new startups per year

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Getting it into where it needs to be… Difficult paths, lots of help getting them to deployment point. 1.5 ton object up a hill on bad roads.

business model demonstrated sustainable when equipment, on-ground management, operators, clients all work as planned. Has to sustain on its own, just in country.

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The first portion of the presentation establish models to evaluate parameters effectiveness to the energy system. It’s a useful tool to do trade studies to determine the priorities of system design optimization. Similar approach could be tailored to different systems or parameters. This approach provides a means to take the system holistically instead of individual components.

The HOMER presentation presented similar approach for different power system architecture in rural area.

AKM Azad presented solar home system component qualification testing procedure. This is the first presentation that works with qualifying actual of the shield product. To provide a comparison, figure of metric is also established.

Nathan presented a study for the new cookstove adoption to the rural area. The figure of merit not only takes the cookfuel efficiency, which includes time to prepare biomass, but also the adaption rate for the cookstove. It shows that a great product may have great performance but lacks of the adaption greatly reduces the value of the product. Also, there is no solution fits all because the “customer” need simply varies from cooking 5lbs to 100lbs food. Differentiation for different needs are needed.

Yaser, the last presenter, adds an new element to the figure of merit on the global level- Peace, to address the conflict of energy resources. It’s an new thought to integrate the energy solution to a larger global scale.

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Happy went to the Energy Session this morning. He participated in the Q&A session after each presentation and he interviews some attendees!

Happy interviewed attendees Piyush Madan and Sajan Pillai after the session. Both of them indicated that they learned a lot from the session and were inspired by how to turn ordinary items in daily life into application to benefit humanity!
Piyush Madan will be presenting in the afternoon, Happy can’t wait to hear that!


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Happy: this way to the Energy Session A!

Aluminum Foil Coils for Human Scale Wind Turbines

By Pedro Melendez-Vega Giri Venkataramanan

Test system use aluminum and VHS cassettes as the system body; the system promotes recycle idea while generating power in a small scale. The test result and comparison was done with motor running time and battery charging test. This new coil design present can drive the system cost down significantly.


A hot plate solar cooker with electricity generation, Combining a parabolic trough mirror with a Sidney Tube and heat pipe

By Anton Kaasjager, G.P.G Moeys

Present by Pieter Verhagen

Pete is the business partner with Kaasjager and he shared work examples they did in rural area. They have worked with various rural households such as working with WWF Madagascar for new design in mirror oven. Another cool design he showed was the ability to add electricity generation via thermo electrical generator (peltier/seebeck effect) with watercooled.

The team is expecting ~90 million households will use biogas in 2020 where rural electrification is lacking. Biogas offers clean and affordable cooking light (gas lamps) and fertilizer. Presentation also showed a biogas socket which adds electricity generation (5W, equivalent to 2 candle lights brightness) to the biogas proposition.

Co-creation steps that the team is adpating: Imitation with old flower pot ->;; innovation (happened) ->;; Turn into local production (rebuilt using material available locally) ->;; Or even adapt to global production (use whatever is available at the destination location


Pedalite: Lighting Up Lives in Unelectrified Villages

by Rajesh Megalingam, Lekshmi Nair, Meera Viswanath, Shreeja Sugatha


Solar Battery Charging Station and Torque Sensor Based Electrically Assisted Tricycle

by Tahsin Faraz and A. Azad


Efficient Microgrid Management System for Electricity Distribution in Emerging Regions

by Javier Rose, P.Achintya Madduri and Daniel Soto

Team worked on microgrid application in emerging regions and was able to delicate the system as low as $25 per household.

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Tutorial 1A: “Village Energy Systems: Understanding the problem and comparing rural energy options” finished. If you are interested to continue reading on this topic. You can check these journals by Nathan Johnson from HOMER Energy:

Energy supply and use in a rural West African Village

Factors affecting fuelwood consumption in household cookstoves in an isolated rural West African Village

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Happy is attending the tutorial “Village Energy Systems” by Nathan Johnson. Want to join him? Go to IEEE.tv now!


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Tutorial 1A. Village energy systems: Understanding the problem and comparing rural energy options
Speaker: Nathan Johnson, HOMER Energy

Nathan Johnson, HOMER Energy

Nathan addressing individual questions. Such a great interactive tutorial sharing experience and knowledge!

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Tutorial 1A. Village energy systems: Understanding the problem and comparing rural energy options
Speaker: Nathan Johnson, HOMER Energy

How should we help solve rural energy poverty?
“… the user knows more about their life and environment than you do, keep an open mind”
“Focus on need not the absence of a particular technology”
“Try considering the user as a consumer”
“Poverty alleviation has many paths”

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