America's North Shore Journal

Supporting the Ninth Amendment

Category: Green

Solar energy project in southern Afghanistan

Solar panels used to collect energy emitted by the sun are mounted to the roof of the Nawa district governor's compound

Capt. Brandon Newell, Expeditionary Energy Liaison Officer for Regional Command Southwest and a native of St. Amant, La., says this is the first type of large-scale solar hybrid project in Helmand to date.

“We’re not just trying to introduce something that’s sustainable into their community,” explained Newell who also holds an electrical engineering degree from Louisiana State University. “We’re taking something that they understand at a smaller level and trying to provide them an opportunity at a much larger, more centralized capability, which will be much more reliable.“

Solar power brings clean water in Afghanistan

First Lt. Timothy McCormick, assistant operations officer, Brigade Headquarters Group, Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, drinks freshly-purified water with locals. The water was cleaned with the solar-powered water purification system assembled here, Feb. 16. The system cleans out bacteria and diseases in the water, making it safe for locals to drink.

The system requires little to set up and is very efficient. The water purification system can filter water at a maximum rate of 60 gallons every minute.

Its ability to run with very little effort from the user makes the system simple. Because it is low maintenance and runs on solar energy, the only thing the user needs to do is change filters as they get dirty.

“The simplicity of the system makes this a great opportunity for these people to have clean water,” said McCormick. “The clean water will be rid of most of the bacteria and diseases it [typically] contains.”

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