About half of the population of the Himalayas has no access to electricity. Until recently, the 700 residents of Lingshed village were among them. Located in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas, the remote village is nearly a day’s trek from the nearest road, which itself is impassable during the long winter months.

In August 2016, a group of engineer volunteers trekked to Lingshed (elevation: 4,000 meters) to install solar-powered direct-current microgrids at the 900-year-old Lingshed monastery as well as the dormitories of the local school. They also created a computer lab with a satellite Internet link that now doubles as an Internet café for trekkers. Each microgrid includes a 250-watt PV panel, a pair of 12-volt lead-acid batteries specially designed for solar systems, and about thirty 3-watt LED light bulbs.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum