Friday September 5, 2014
Team 3’s stay comes to a close today, as we are the last ones to flight back to Seattle tonight. Our last day in Muhuru Bay was quite productive. First, Ayesha distributed sizable portions of maize to the widows of the community. Daniel installed a light inside the kiosk connected to the AC network, so that Zebedee would not have to use battery power for light at night. Zebedee stays at kiosk overnight most of the time. Ayesha also made some signs indicating the opening hours and a price list posted at the Kiosk window. More items will be added to the list once the ordered accessories are delivered, along with the remaining battery kits. We don’t have an ETA yet, but there was some progress according to the BBOXX office. Daniel also showed Zebedee again how to equalize the station batteries, and how to add minutes to the data logger. Ayesha and Vincent also went over the to-do list with Zebedee for when the remaining battery kits arrive. He is ready. The rest of the time Vincent discussed several aspects of the business with Zebedee, going over a number of scenarios. He is now very much aware of the importantance of putting enough money aside to guarantee funds for equipment replacement in the future. The business is now completely in their hands, and we can provide support if needed. In the last few days, the amount of phone charging kept on increasing, reaching 20 most of the time. Zebedee is aware that this number will drop once the BBOXX renters will be able to charge their cell phones with their own BBOXX.
Yesterday, we said a tearful goodbye to Symon and Pendo who have been wonderful hosts for all three teams. They went above and beyond to take care of us, and to make us feel at home.
Today, a few hours before taking off, we stopped by the Alstom office here in Nairobi to thank our colleagues Clemencia, Iddy and Jozef for their valuable help and support in Muhuru Bay. The implementation trip comes to an end today, but the project is not finished yet. The microgrid will be monitored remotely in two ways. On technical side, the data logger sends measurement data (battery voltage, currents,…) to a website so that the health of the microgrid can be assessed simply by bringing up an url. On the business side, Zebedee will send monthly reports of the financial operations, and in particular, how much money has been set aside. We will plan follow-up trips to Muhuru Bay either in 6 and/or 12 months, depending on the need.
A big thank you for everyone, either in the USA or Kenya, who contributed (no matter how) to make this implementation trip a success.