In Malaysia, there is still a doctor that makes house calls — the Solar Doctor. Iwan, my host and owner of SunCrox Solar, has done a lot of work in remote villages helping them set up small, stand-alone solar systems to provide lights in their houses. This week, I had the privilege of joining him on a trip to one of these villages. Be sure to click here for a video review of our visit: Visit to Villages
What is not seen in the video is the work that Iwan has done to work with one of the residents of the village, Lee — our host, to learn how to troubleshoot and fix the systems when there is a problem. Although the systems are designed to be resilient and handle the rough conditions the jungle can throw at them, issues are going to arise. So rather than having to wait for Iwan to come out to make repairs, Lee can do it and keep his friends and neighbors in the light. We left him with a stock of spare charge controllers, lights, USB chargers, wires and other things he may need.
Although this visit is not too far away (about 5 hours outside of Kuala Lumpur and accessible by road), there are more remote places where the ability of someone on-site to fix the systems will make the difference between a valuable solar lighting system and something that is discarded as not working.