On 25th june 2012, 10 Volunteers from Empower Lanka visited the very remote village of Ratugala, Bibile, Sri lanka to launch phase two of the flagship project installing a 300W micro grid solar power system and lighting to 15 households. Situated nearly 300km way from Colombo, Ratugala is home to a "Vedda" Community and has 98 families living in it.
Empower Lanka had installed a 300W Solar Power System designed by students of the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo as part of the first phase of powering this village. However, the large distance and area around which the houses in the village were situated posed a challenge to transmitting the generated solar power to the houses and resulted in heavy losses of energy.
To address this, Empower Lanka came up with the unique and innovative concept of "Wireless Lighting" and this was introduced at Ratugala for the first time ever. The concept does away with the need to use wires to transmit electricity by giving each household a rechargeable "Lighting Unit" which can be charged at the central "Charging Station" situated in the village and then carried over any distance and thus light up the household remotely.
This concept proved highly successful and a further 15 houses were lit up after the project. The difficulties of the students who had to study with the light of kerosene lamps which were both dangerous and costly were put to rest with the brighter and convenient LED lamps Empower Lanka donated.
The volunteers who made this possible showed remarkable teamwork and confessed to learning firsthand the joy of volunteerism and how easy it was to make a change with the skills they have.
The project was highly commended from all fronts including the Leader of the Tribe at Ratugala as well as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo and attracted much media attention.
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