In Guatemala, like many places around the globe, thousands of rural families do not have regular access to electricity in their homes. Instead of relying on electricity delivered by reliable local infrastructure to meet their needs, they are forced to provide their own power, piecemeal, or go without.
- To light their homes they depend on dirty, dangerous kerosene lamps.
- To connect to the world around them they purchase disposable batteries for their radios.
- To power their mobile phones, often their only way of communicating with loved ones and business partners, they travel long distances and pay exorbitant rates for a merchant the charge their batteries.
In locations with prodigious wind, a small wind generator capable of charging a car battery would be an ideal way for them to meet their modest needs while avoiding the health and environmental pitfalls associated with their current solutions. The Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG) has recognized this opportunity and is working to develop wind generators to include in their infrastructure development efforts. Catapult Design is working with the Appropriate Technology Development Team (ATDT) of Engineers Without Borders-USA to develop a low cost, vertical-axis pico wind turbine for AIDG given the following objectives and constraints:
- Generate 10-20 Watts at target wind speed (~15mph)
- Charge car batteries for use with LED lights, radios, and cellular phones
- Occupy a small footprint (~ 2×3 ft)
- Manufactured with local materials & skills in Quetzalenango, Guatemala
- $100 US manufacturing cost
Download the full project brief here: AIDG Wind Turbine Project Brief
Client: Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG), Guatemala
AIDG helps individuals and communities get affordable and environmentally sound access to electricity, sanitation and clean water. Through a combination of business incubation, education, and outreach, they help people get technology that will better their health and improve their lives.
XelaTeco, founded with assistance from AIDG in Guatemala in 2005, is a micro-manufacturing facility based around the development of appropriate energy solutions for rural Guatemala.
Partner: Engineers Without Borders – San Francisco Professional Chapter (EWB-SFP) Appropriate Technology Design Team (ATDT), USA
The ATDT is a project of the San Francisco Professionals Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. They are a volunteer-based team that performs work very similar to that of Catapult. In fact, the Catapult founders initially started their technical humanitarian work with the ATDT.
Follow the latest wind turbine developments on our blog.
Tyler Valiquette chats with Cat Laine from the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group about the ins and outs of the wind turbine.
The article that helped launch an organization, WIRED.com’s Alexis Madrigal is the first to cover the wind turbine project with Engineers Without Borders.
Tyler, Heather and Matt McLean featured on TV12′s Your Green Life. The featurette includes coverage of a wind turbine build session and the impact a few watts of electricity can make on people without light.
The Wind Turbine team meets and interviews with Tomas Roman from the local ABC News station.