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Publication Title | From Misfortune

Organic Rankine Cycle

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From Misfortune

My project was born from this tragic misfortune. I have lived and worked in Nepal for twelve years. I’ve spent a lot of time in Solu-Kumbhu. I reasoned that this hydro-powered accident happened because a group of non-technically oriented people, the monastery, was given far too much power — beyond their ability to manage. With 8000 watts on-line, an accident was bound to happen.

About 40 miles from the now-restored Tengboche is the valley of Junbesi, around which are five other Buddhist monasteries. One of them is Tumbuk. I had known Topkay Lama of Tumbuk for six years when I decided to install a photovoltaic lighting system for him. I’ve seen Topkay build his monastery from nothing but a bare hillside. I knew that neither he nor his monks knew the first thing about electricity. To avoid another tragic accident, the system had to be low power and automatic. Since they have no appliances, the system would power only lights. I didn’t intend to install any plug-in receptacles either, so that no unsuspecting soul could damage or overload the system.

Below: The Tumbuk Monastery nestled in the Valley of Junbesi.

Sun Breathing

Dennis Ramsey

©1995 Dennis Ramsey Abrilliant hydro-electric project in Solu-

Kumbhu, Nepal went horribly wrong

a few years ago. It burned the Tengboche Monastery, near Mount Everest, to the ground. A group of well-meaning foreigners gave the monastery an 8000 watt hydroelectric system, which provided not only lighting, but heat as well. The intention was to give the monks and lamas enough energy to replace some of their fuelwood consumption — a great idea until someone kicked over a space heater....

6 Home Power #45 • February / March 1995

Image | From Misfortune

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