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Selco – 1800ForBail

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In the summer of 2018, I interned with the Selco Foundation in Bangalore, India. Selco is a solar solutions company which bridges the gap in high-risk sustainable energy innovations and ecosystem development for under-served communities by using philanthropic capital.

Spending 3 weeks there, I learned the basics and workings of solar panels; the types of systems and components. After learning the designs of solar panels, I was taught to calculate need assessments and the same process was repeated for the charge regulator, battery and inverter calculations. To put all this learning to test, I was then given 2 sample Anganwadis, with load details and specifications, and was told to design systems for them myself on Excel.

This was one of my favorite tasks as I was put in the mindset of an engineer here at the company, and had to design a system like any other professional here would for a facility.

I was further given 2 sample Anganwadis (rural Learning Centers), with load details and specifications, and was told to design systems independently. I concluded my internship by compiling all the information learnt and conducting a presentation to the staff of  Selco, adding solutions I believed would help further improve the Anganwadis. I  also wrote a comprehensive research paper for the same.

Research Paper – Selco

That same summer, on my annual visit to Vatsalya, an NGO I am associated with in Mumbai, India, I learned that they had recently adopted 20 impoverished villages in Maharashtra, which lacked electricity. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to implement my learnings from SELCO and devised and spearheaded ‘The Energize Initiative’ where I committed to fundraising and solarizing the learning centers for children. After a need-based assessment of loads and usage hours, I devised customized solar solutions including lights (5W + 10W) and plus a fan system for the centers. I succeeded with the implementation in 5 centers, and I am conducting an optimistic second round of fundraising in November to solarize 15 more. I’m currently working on a business model to incorporate each family’s need and solarize houses in the village.