Friday, February 20, 2009

Make Your Own Power

In most of the world we take power for granted. Plug in the computer and it works, the refrigerator is always cold and the lights come on automatically when it gets dark. Here in Juba, the office has electricity that works half the time, swinging wildly from over to under voltage. Every time it does this, the air conditioner needs to wait 3 minutes before resetting and kicking on again. There is a good chance the power will have kicked the regulator off again for another 3 minutes. Laptop power supplies are more forgiving and operate over a wide voltage range.

At the house, there is no city electricity. We make our own. With a diesel generator running 4 hours maximum a day all the washing needs to be done. The refrigerator gets to run and these 4 hours, usually very warm by next time the generator runs. The generator gives a bit of light during the dark times. A large battery bank provides some electricity when the generator is off. It can run the fridge a bit, charge cell phones or power computers.

Electricity is expensive to produce. It is a given infrastructure in well run communities. Yet here in post-war Southern Sudan, it is often a luxury prompting each household to make its own power.

1 comment:

  1. Good reminders to bless these beasts of burden instead of curse them when they crash.-Carolyn