Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Tiny Home

January 4, 2018

Caleb Grove built an eight-by-12 foot house - a micro home - in six months, for $10,000.

But it's not to showcase his building skills. It's to shine a light on his scalable, and cheap, power set-up.

Powered by solar, 12 volt batteries store enough power to run lights, a laptop, and a fan in the home.

Grove has installed 40 similar systems on a small island in Africa called Mbissa.

The first place to get electric light was a health clinic. Grove says it was greeted with a hushed awe.

For almost a decade, Grove grew up on that island, when his missionary parents decided to settle their family there in 2000.

To get to Mbissa, you pass through the mainland that has a spotty electrical grid that most people can't afford to tap into. Then you get to the end of the road, take a boat, and arrive at the 3000 person island of subsistence farmers and fishers.

Grove was eight then.  At 17, he decided to get an electrical engineering degree from the University of New Brunswick. While completing his degree, he convinced various UNB funding agencies to donate more than $30,000 dollars as he went back and forth to Africa to perfect his power system.

"The people in Cameroon, have, through our technology, a plug and play system," says Grove, holding up something about twice the size of an insulated coffee mug.

"So someone who wants to put in their solar electricity, it's extremely simple. They don't need a background in electrical engineering to come up with this product."

"And so to be able to take that and do that here would be the same idea."

When developing the system, Grove said he had to make something that was cheap, could be made with local materials, and would be easy to install..

"I have to make sure that it's done so that when I leave, if I leave it will continue. So that means is that it is not the white man coming in to do work. That makes it sustainable. It is theirs," says Grove.

"And that has been a long and difficult battle. The word for electricity in their language is 'munong micra', it means 'the fire of the foreigner'. And I've been trying to tell them you need to call this 'munong Mbissa':'the fire of Mbissa,'

Grove adds: "Something that even if a foreigner is not there to give it to you, you can still do it, because you have the power, you have the tools and you have the knowledge and education you need to do it."

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/micro-home-power-system-1.4440658


Electrician Forum Brought to you by Schneider Electric

As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

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Cloud

There has been a lot of talk about cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models these days but both are relatively new to the lighting industry. Let’s take a look at what they are as well as their roles in commercial lighting.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, and applications via the Internet with pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing. Cloud computing means that instead of all the computer hardware, software, and data that you are using sitting somewhere inside your company’s network, it’s provided and managed for you as a service by another company and you access it over the Internet. 

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Jean-Marc Myette

By Line Goyette

Meeting people in our industry often comes with surprises. This was the case with Jean-Marc Myette, Business Development Manager of ABB’s Electrification Products Division and chair of the Board of Electro-Federation Canada’s Quebec section. Not only does he know the electrical industry down to the most minute product and technological innovations, he is also a professional car racer on sabbatical, and someone very involved in his business community and personal life.

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