I headed out to our Vocational Training Centre today to talk to the instructor and his students who had been trained in maintenance of the solar hot water systems. The boys are aged between 16-18, and started their 2 year air-conditioning and refrigerator mechanics course in October last year. Their workshop was a tiny, hot shed they'd made themselves, where they do their practical work.
Before they're allowed to try anything, they must make the calculations and sketch the wiring,
And then do all sorts of fun things
All of them spent many hours installing the solar hot water systems and when I asked them how it felt when the first hot water came out of the tap, they spoke about how proud they were to be helping people in the camp (even though they live there themselves), and how happy they felt to see a difference being made.
The instructor, who's worked for UNRWA for 20 years, was a very interesting man, and was obviously very proud of the boys. He took great pride in showing me some of the other things they'd created, and I was really impressed by how they've taken the solar technology on.
First I was shown a wind turbine
The four 1.7 volt photovoltaic cells (PVCs for those in the know)
Which are wired up to charge four batteries, and a converter which changes the DC power into 220 AC volts
which then illuminates the lights they've rigged up all around the fencing of the training facility.