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Welcome to the Engineering A Brighter Sudan Project!

From Left: Enrique Rayon, Emmett Perl, Mou Riiny, Michael Rios

During the second Sudanese civil war, thousands of young boys from Southern Sudan were separated from their families and forced to flee their villages when they were attacked by government troops. Facing thirst, starvation, disease, wild animals, and hostile government troops, these boys marched for hundreds of miles before reaching the safety of international relief camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. This group became internationally known as the Lost Boys of Sudan.

This journey is close to home for one of our group members, senior Mou Riiny, who was one of the youngest of these boys. In 2000, Mou was resettled from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to Winchester, Massachusetts where he stayed with a foster family. After 7 years of schooling in Massachusetts, Mou enrolled at the University of San Diego to study Electrical Engineering.

In August of 2010, Mou joined three senior engineering students, Emmett Perl, Enrique Rayon, and Michael Rios, to start “Engineering a Brighter Sudan”, a project committed to the goal of bringing alternative energy to a newly constructed school in Mou’s village of Theou (Thiou). The final system will use Jinko solar panels, Rolls batteries , OutBack inverters, and energy efficient lights from Precision Paragon to ensure that the system will be reliable and long lasting.

To help achieve our final goal, we built a scaled prototype of the system on the University of San Diego campus. This was demonstrated to the San Diego community during the Engineering open house on May 6th, 2011. The project culminated with the group traveling to South Sudan to install the final system in January of 2013. Now complete, this will give the community of Theou electricity for the first time and will create a sustainable model that can be repeated for villages throughout the developing world. Mou is dedicated to this cause and will help to bring more renewable energy to South Sudan with his new business SunGate Solar.

Electricity carries with it a world of benefits for rural communities, including the alleviation of poverty, reduction of illiteracy, and help for the local economy by providing opportunities for entrepreneurship. Our goal is to empower the people to obtain a higher level of education and independence, which will help a newly independent South Sudan prosper as a country. It is our hope that this project will serve as an example of the types of efforts that can be made to help those in need.

9 Responses to Home

  1. Lamar Spear says:

    It was great seeing you guys at the seminar on Saturday. I hope you learned much!

  2. Anne Theriault says:

    “Engineering a Brighter Sudan Project” is in the hands of four commendable men. Your website is exemplary.

  3. C. Rodriguez says:

    It does my heart and soul good to know there are still believers, thinkers and doers like these 4 young men. I’m proud of them for thinking outside the box to give others what we here in America often take for granted.

  4. Chris Parker says:

    To Phil,
    My name is Chris Parker; I’ve been friends with Anne and Tricia for fifty years! We’ve met, Phil, but I don’t expect you to remember. Kudos to you and Emmett, Michael and Enrique for undertaking such a super-intelligent, daunting, heart-driven project! “Engineering a Brighter Sudan” should stand as a world model for science AND humanitarianism. Love and thanks to you all.

  5. I’m signing up for your e-mail subscription so we can keep all our supporters updated on Village Help for South Sudan’s web site and Facebook page.

    All the best,
    Lisa Deeley Smith
    Director
    Village Help for South Sudan

  6. Mou(Phil) says:

    Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement.

  7. A. Michelena says:

    This is what a Catholic education is all about, giving back to the community, whether it is our neighborhood community or as in this case, our worldwide community.
    Well done!

  8. Emmett Perl says:

    Congratulations to South Sudan on finally gaining its independence and sovereignty. This is a joyous day and we hope that it is the beginning of a fruitful and long history for the country!

  9. Eugene Moe says:

    I enjoyed talking to Michael at the GHTC this week and might have some comments that are of interest. In addition to the following sizing information “The size of the battery bank can be found by taking the area under the curve and dividing by the inverter efficiency (.9) and the discharge limit (50%). To power the system for one 24 hour cycle, a 48 Volt battery bank is required with a total rating of 1,220 amp-hours (4 parallel connections of 305 amp-hour batteries). To charge these batteries, a 5.4 kilowatt solar panel array is necessary.” there are battery charging hysteresis issues to be considered. That is that a battery will be non-linear in how efficient they are re-charged. The charging between 5-80 percent capacity is somewhat linear in that the charging efficiency may be as high as 85-90 percent (85-90 percent of the generated energy is converted to storage in the battery. The last 10-15 percent charge can be quite inefficient however and may require twice as much energy or be 50 percent efficient in recharging. I did not see that information in the energy calculations and while the consideration may be accounted for, I thought I would mention it for your information. Your project looks ambitious and will provide a great service to the community.

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