This year we invited VIT to collaborate with us on running a similar initiative to our well established Gambia Solar Porject (the Tamil Nadu Solar Project) in association with a worthy charity close to VIT. Here we aim to bring a reliable and sustainable supply of electricity to areas where none exists, and to those most in need but least able to afford it. Pravaham was selected as the charity which would benefit from the project this year, and along with three very enthusiastic and capable students from VIT we worked together to deliver lighting and power for a new teaching block. The provision of this sustainable source of electricity means that they’ll no longer be plagued by long power outages (sometimes lasting up to 18 hours a day) and all of the electricity supplied to the block is now free!!
We were also keen to establish a working relationship with VIT with potential to collaborate in research and programmes for student exchange. In addition, we aim to set up student projects within VIT and Strathclyde where students will tackle some of the technical challenges associated with developing low cost energy solutions for developing country communities and so increase access to electricity. The Tamil Nadu Solar Project is also planned for next year where a new group of VIT students will be involved, and we may potentially bring our students from Scotland to work with them to design and install a solar system for another worthy beneficiary.