Tag Archives: featured

Commissioning the Pilot System of an Open Source Electronic Load Controller (ELC)

After a year of development, the pilot system of an open source Electronic Load Controller (ELC) has been deployed in the indigenous people’s community of Gacab in The Philippines. The project was carried out as a collaboration between SIBAT and EWB-UK to expand SIBAT’s capacity to self-manufacture and maintain ELCs which can be utilized in many of their micro-hydro projects.

ELCs are used to balance the power generated by the micro-hydro system with the power demand of the consumers in order to maintain a good quality electrical supply, preventing damage to appliances and power generation equipment.

After an initial test deployment earlier in the year in April, unfortunately the system suffered a direct lightning strike which took both the generator and ELC offline, the unit was fault-diagnosed and repaired by SIBAT and EWB-UK engineers before being successfully re-installed alongside additional lightning protection for their whole micro-grid.

This process in itself shows the benefit of an open-source design as it gives local engineers the power to diagnose and repair the system with minimized cost and down-time. An online resource containing tutorials, schematics and software is currently under-development to accompany the project in the hope that others, particularly in the Hydro Empowerment Network, can benefit from, and contribute to further development of the design.

SIBAT Attends Training in Malaysia to Help Promote the IPAM Portal

Together with representatives from the Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific (PANAP) and Kudumbam of India, SIBAT attends a two-day training workshop from March 17-18, 2017 held at Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort, Penang, Malaysia.  SIBAT sent its representatives April Joy Balmaceda, Jose Raphael Lopez and Shen Maglinte to learn how to utilize the International People’s Agroecology Multiversity (IPAM) portal with its different platform to promote agroecology.   IPAM is an initiative to establish a university-type learning mechanism using the web as a tool where the vast reserves of knowledge on agroecology practice and experience are shared so that more people would be knowledgeable about it and hence could be able to practice and do advocacy. SIBAT is one of IPAM’S Field Learning Site (FLS).

This  is a form of alternative learning approach where ownership of agro-ecology knowledge are reverted back to their rightful owners- the farmers,  especially those who go against  chemical farming  espoused by agri-corporations.  This is also veering away from traditional university practice where only certified degree holders are recognized as owners of knowledge leaving out producers of this knowledge especially the farmers and their experiences.  IPAM is not meant to be just any ordinary database of knowledge that can be googled out but aims to be more interactive. 

IPAM’s portal has five platforms namely Knowledge – a one stop resource centre on agroecology, Research – a forum to promote and share ideas and do collaborative work on participatory researches, evidence based documentation,  innovations and case studies on agroecology, Learning – a platform that offers both on-farm  and online training courses, learning modules, webinars and videos for short-term sessions and long-term curriculum, Community Building – inspiring stories from the ground  on agroecological practices, innovations and techniques and Action – a platform for community and movement-building through campaigning, networking and mobilization.

Apayao and Nueva Viscaya Reps met to exchange experiences on Microhydro

PO leaders from Micro hydro partners in Apayao and Nueva Viscaya provinces, met in a consultation hosted by SIBAT held at Mangarita Organic Farm (MOF) on February 23-24, 2015. The event aimed to gather said partners to share lessons about their MHP projects. the status of the projects was also discussed, that led to the formulation of upgrading plans for more than a decade-old MHPs.

The MHP sites represented in the consultation are: Sitios Lapat, Buneg, Bubog and Katablangan in Apayao and Nueva Viscaya.

The consultation was preceded by a meeting of representatives from 18 MHP projects in Abra Province last May, 2014. The representatives of Kimbutan MHP(now equipped with ELC, with civil works rehabilitated, transmission line replaced and watershed forested) shared their experiences on upgrading their system in 2011.

LGU representatives were invited to both consultations to create strong collaboration so that they can extend their support for future upgrading. The Apayao event was attended by Engr. Freddie T. Nicolas and Engr. Henry B. Caluducan from the Provincial Planning Development Office of Apayao.

The sharing revealed the capability of organized communities to sustain the system in the long run, despite the problems encountered such as: poor maintenance, lack of technical know-how of local MHP operators and poor tariff payment.

The participants are capable of performing basic repairs and maintenance of the project, and expressed their desire for more technical training, for operators with proper criteria. The CBRES organizations will also undergo training in July 2015.

The Apayao LGU representative committed support through small funds for post-harvest applications to be powered by MHPs. They suggested that the communities formulate resolutions, send these to the board member of the provinces, who have previously donated rice mills now being operated by the CBRES.

Furthermore, SIBAT expressed its commitment to support the system upgrading through technical advisory and assistance and sourcing for potential funders.

The partners from different sites expressed their gratitude on the electrification provided by the MHPs, and to SIBAT for the continuing of assistance provided to the projects. SIBAT in turn, thanked the community representatives for their resilience to sustain MHPs, and to harness the water source for the long-term benefit of the community.