Something New Under the Sun
By Matt Petersen
Pastor Peter Marokiki had a problem. He didn’t have electricity in his remote Papua New Guinea village. Without electricity he couldn’t run his computer. And without a computer, it was really hard to work on the Arop Bible translation.
A team at JAARS, one of Wycliffe’s strategic partners, recently made something to help translators like Pastor Peter. With a flexible solar panel and a lithium battery pack, it can keep a notebook computer running all day long. And it has enough power left over to run a BGAN terminal for a satellite Internet connection.
Pastor Peter got one of these units a few months ago and it’s working great!
At about nine pounds, the solar panel itself isn’t quite as light as those designed for backpackers, but it’s more durable and only one-fifth the cost. Plus, the unit can run all day long and stores power for a cloudy day or two. Rolled up, it easily fits in a five-gallon bucket—extra protection from dust, rain, mud, and other harsh travel conditions. And its batteries should last five years or more with little to no maintenance.
“This isn’t going to fit every need,” said Paul Zwierzynski, one of the product developers. “But where you’ve got a national translator who’s really got the ability to work from home … this gives him a setup that’s basically no fiddling with it; you just plug in your computer and run … enabling more people to work who normally wouldn’t be able to work.”
More work, more translations, more lives changed—that’s what it’s all about!
For more information about the units, including purchasing information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.