Belize CS Project

Spring Break 2016

Solar Energy and Computer Literacy for Schools


January 2014 Kenyon/MVNU Group

About Belize

IMG_1273.JPG BelizeRuins.jpg

Trip Blog

Required Forms



Date From To Flight#
27-Feb Depart Columbus 6:00am Arrive Atlanta 7:34am DL 2197
27-Feb Depart Atlanta 10:00am Arrive Belize City 1:21pm DL 703
11-Mar Depart Belize City 1:20pm Arrive Atlanta 5:15pm DL 695
11-Mar Depart Atlanta 8:40pm Arrive Columbus 10:17pm DL 1314


  1. SOLAR POWER FOR SCHOOLS - Electricity is very expensive in Belize. It is typically the largest percentage of the budget after teacher salaries. Sunlight is very avalible. On this project we will be install solar power systems on 2-4 schools (funding pending), and at the lodge we are staying at (to serve as a demonstration, and to help defray food and lodging costs)
  2. COMPUTER LABS IN SCHOOLS - Creaton of internet connected computer labs in schools. Working with students, teachers, administrators, and community people in workshops on how to use computers and the internet.
  1. Sunday church in Succtoz.
  2. A visit to the Belize - Belize Zoo Link
  3. A visit to Xunantunich Mayan Ruins - Xunantunich Link
  4. A visit to Mountain Pine Ridge - Link



Student actively will collaborate on a collective blog describing their experience


Date Day Activity Lodging
27 Feb 2016 Saturday Travel to Belize Succotz
28 Feb 2016 Sunday Church in Succotz, Xunantunich Mayan ruins Succotz
29 Feb 2016 Monday Install Solar Systems & First Aid Classes Succotz
1 Mar 2016 Tuesday Install Solar Systems & First Aid Classes Succotz
2 Mar 2016 Wednesday Install Solar Systems & First Aid Classes Succotz
3 Mar 2016 Thursday Install Solar Systems & First Aid Classes Succotz
4 Mar 2016 Friday Install Solar System at United Pentecostal School (Arcelito Mai) Succotz
5 Mar 2016 Saturday Mountain Pine Ridge Succotz
6 Mar 2016 Sunday Travel to Toledo Toledo
7 Mar 2016 Monday Install solar systems in Toledo Toledo
8 Mar 2016 Tuesday First Aid Classes, Return to Succotz, on to Guatemala Gatamala
9 Mar 2016 Wednesday First Aid Classes, Santa Ana, Guatemala, Gatamala
10 Mar 2016 Thursday Return to Belize. Finish up in Succotz Succotz
11 Mar 2016 Friday Return Home Mount Vernon

Solar Proposal (assuming 17 good panels)

Site Panels Day
Log Cabins 2 panels added to existing system March 1
St. Andrews replace bad panel March 1
San Antonio 4 panel system March 2
Victorious 2 panels added to existing system March 3
Arenal Check System March 3
Some school 4 panel system March 4
School in Toledo 4 panel system March 7

Required Preparation Meetings

LLRC 039 6:30-7:30
  • Oct 28, 2015 - Trip Preparation, the culture, packing, expectations, requirements.
  • Nov 18, 2015 - All about Belize
  • Dec 2, 2015 - The Projects

Important Contacts

U.S. Embassy Belize

4 Floral Park Road
Belmopan, Belize
Telephone: (501) 822-4011
Fax: (501) 822-4012

Belize Emergency Services Number: 911



Enrollment and Proposed Costs


Mailing list

A project to explore grid tie power to power schools in developing countries



The MVNU Computer Science department has a continuing project to work with technologied in schools. This project started with creating internet connected computer labs for schools. We soon discovered that the cost of electricity, which is high in Belize, was problematic for schools with very limited. Thus we began exploring solar solutions to augment available power, and thus reduce or eliminate the costs of electricity for the schools.

Grid Tie Solar Power

The majority of the schools we work with have electricity, and these typically schools are only in session during the day. A common solution is the store electricity in batteries, and then run of the batteries when it is night, or the sun is otherwise not shining. However, batteries are expensive, have a short life (2-5 years), and typically contain toxic materials which create problems at the end of life. The solution we adopted was to use a "Grid Tie" solution. This design converts solar enrgy directly to 120v AC, and adds it to the circuits being supplied from the grid. The system is designed to first use the energy created by the solar panels, and then suppliment this with power from the grid as needed. Thus such a solution will lower the power usage, but still allow the use of electricity when there is no solar energy available.

Solar Project Live Monitor

Topic revision: r12 - 2016-02-29 - JimSkon
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