After the completion of the first Microformer demonstration project in Madison, WI, we wanted to find another outlet for demonstration. We found this outlet with our team’s contacts in Chile, through our team member Patricio. Patricio is a professor at the University of Chile (Faculty of Physics and Mathematics – Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas (FCFM)) in Santiago. Through Patricio’s many contacts, we were able to form a partnership with faculty and students. We wanted to form this partnership because of the resources of the FCFM could be combined with available outlets for Microformer transmission system construction in real-world situations. The FCFM faculty member’s provided some ideas for possible Microformer projects. These projects included two that we would begin with: 1) student independent study and 2) Microformer transmission line installation at existing field sites. We thought these projects were a perfect fit for the next steps in developing the Microformer concept.
The broad goal of this partnership between the Microformer team and FCFM is to further investigate the technical details behind Microformer operation and to demonstrate that Microformer systems work in field installations for a low installation cost, providing more efficient electricity transmission while also being reliable. We hope that the work completed here will build the Microformer system into the standard one used in rural electrification, one that uses medium voltage transmission at ~2kV and low-cost, right-sized transformers for household connection.
The next in a series of blog posts will detail the Microformer Project’s partnership and field work in Chile. The first of which will describe the planning and partnership with the FCFM (U. of Chile). Then, Microformer construction in Santiago, Chile will be detailed. After Microformer assembly, photos and descriptions of the microformer system installation in Huatacondo, Chile will be detailed. Finally, continuing work in Santiago and Huatacondo will round out this storyline.