Today after church about a dozen of us gathered in the back of the church basement to assemble small solar lights for Ukrainians who were living without reliable electricity. Dave, from our church, was heading to Moldova in a few weeks. His plan is to send a bunch of needed items, including these solar lights, to the Ukrainians across the border, via a church organization he has worked for there.
These solar lights were brilliantly and simply made. A small board with three LED light strings attached. Behind, a battery stores enough electricity for the nightlight, the smallest of the three strings, to run for 2 weeks if necessary. The battery attaches a regular electric socket, but also to a screen-sized solar panel.
In Ukraine, the power lines have been destroyed in many places. Without electricity, obviously, people can’t see at night. Light is safety. But they also can’t use their i-phones, which in today’s world allow them to communicate, to work, to shop, and to survive. We talked to a man once from Puerto Rico who had lived through Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. He was without reliable power for 18 months. (Today, he has solar panels, which represent security.) His mother died during that time, and his memories left him feeling bitter and abandoned by his own, and our, governments. That was when I came to understand how important electricity is in our world today.
So the solar lights we assembled also had an i-phone cord to the battery. In the hands of a Ukrainian family, this transportable light could move with them, allow them to function at night, and travel with reliable electricity.Continue reading Solar Energy–Heat and Light Reaching Ukrainians