Practical Action is experimenting with three different schemes for generating electricity through wind power.
The first involves using a small wind-powered system to provide electricity for a single house as in the Weerasuriya familys home.
The second involves a group of six generators, which charge up a number of batteries. Six houses are then connected to these batteries.
The third arrangement involves having one large wind machine and storage system for a whole village (in the current experiment this is 18 houses). Deep cycle batteries are used, which can provide electricity for a longer period without recharging. The generator, batteries and inverter are all imported. A diesel generator supplements the wind-powered generator when there is not enough wind. To make this more sustainable, a biogas system (using animal and agricultural waste) generates methane for the diesel engine, reducing the amount of diesel used. The slurry from methane production is used as a soil conditioner.
This communal scheme is managed by a Womens Society in the community. The women are responsible for ensuring that the equipment is maintained and the electricity is shared out fairly.