Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Uganda Project Update

Good Evening Everyone!
Just wanted to give a quick update on The Uganda Project. The picture below shows three of the selected lights in a pitch black room! The slideshow at the end of the post shows more of the detailed work!

We have finally made a decision on the type of lights that will be used. They have been purchased and are now on their way! Mr. Jeff Selby, heard me doing a radio spot on the WAVE last week, and called to offer help. As it turns out, he used to light his Amish home with batteries! He had some awesome LED light with an approximate 120 degree viewing angle. He so generously donated them to this project; Lindsey Wilson College (who funds the Academy) purchased four more matching lights for a total of SEVEN!! All seven lights when connected will not draw over 2 amps!!! This means that the people of the village of Buliike can use the battery for over a week without having to charge it again!! (These are, of course, calculations, and have yet to be proven in a field test!). Special THANKS to Jeffries Hardware for helping us out with the PVC (which will be the structure of the light plant) and the wire and connectors. Also, a very special THANK you to Superior Battery for donating the deep cycle marine battery that will be used!
Next steps:
1. Gotta find an exporter that will do an "all inclusive" shipment. Due to the battery acid, special papers will need to be acquired and filled out, and a complete bill of materials must be prepared in a "special way". I have lots to learn about overseas shipments!
2. Once the lights are here, construct the structural part of the light plant using PVC pipe. We have the make the wiring harness and purchase a few switches so that this plant will be as simple as possible to operate.
3. TEST!! We need to figure out by testing how long the battery will keep the lights illuminated and exactly how long it will take the solar panel(s) to fully recharge the battery. This will be especially important for the life cycle of the battery itself.
4. Write instructions....using pictures and diagrams. Of course, our friend, Ronnie, can speak and read English; however, I would like to challenge the students to write assembly instructions for people who don't speak English. Isn't that what LEGO instructions are???

The fund raising efforts are going well! We are selling raffle tickets every day. We ordered 500 "The Uganda Project" wristbands today and will be selling those very soon. Proceeds from this particular fundraiser will go primarily to the water purification project, including the LifeStraw shipment (see my last post for more info on LifeStraw).

Wanna help? Comment on this post and let me know how you would like to contribute!

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