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The Belo Solar Survey

posted Feb 11, 2010, 3:41 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 5:22 AM ]
Last Tuesday I did a small survey for a solar power project with Engineers without borders that might provide a large school and 10 households with energy. The pre-feasibility phase went really well and EWB is very enthusiastic about the project. So in order to move from the pre-feasibility phase to the fund raising phase we need to provide more detailed info about Belo, and the impact on the local community. Also the plan needs to become more concrete.

So I walked around the proposed site to make pictures of all the houses, take stock of the inhabitants, and visit the school. Since many houses in the area have straw roofs and mudbrick walls they obviously are not suitable for placing PV panels on the roof. The School however is a large and solidly constructed stone and cement building with a very large roof surface area. Luckily three of the 4 buildings have their roof exposed directly to the sun and with a favourable angle.

Since I brought my trusty old G1 android phone with GPS (yeah, I left my nexus at home since the GPS stopped working after a firmware update...) It was really easy to map all the houses in the area using the MyTracks application:

Solar Survey: Belo, Cameroon

After that I transformed the map using my 1337 Gimp skillz into a more visually appealing pic of the area:

So let's see if we can take this project forward, and get some real solar power into this place :)

visiting the nursery of the proposed school for the solar power project