By Melissa Luby
International Technical Electric and Construction, better known as I-TEC, visited the Olivet department of engineering to demonstrate their new power container on March 20 and 21.
The power container, which debuted on July 12 at the Lycoming County Fair in Pennsylvania, is designed to “provide reliable ‘clean’ power and provide very little maintenance when located in a remote part of the world,” according to the organization’s blog. The primary purpose of the container is to serve as a power source for missionary activities in remote parts of the world.
The power container consists of a shipping container outfitted with solar panels, a battery and a diesel generator. The solar panels charge the battery, which is the main source of energy produced by the container. The generator serves as a backup for emergencies and rainy seasons.
Besides being a low-maintenance source of energy, the I-TEC power container also provides several other advantages, which make it ideal for the missions field. The container can be assembled in the United States by volunteers and shipped to where it is needed. The container’s prefabricated nature helps avoid problems with improper assembly and difficulty procuring materials that traditional electrical infrastructures often encounter.
Dr. R. Shane Ritter, who will take over as the chair of the engineering department effective July 1, 2014 has worked with I-TEC in the past and was present for the demonstration.
Ritter said that one of his goals for the future of the engineering department is to become more involved in missions, adding that he thought that working with I-TEC would be an excellent opportunity for Olivet engineering students.
“One task [of missions] is to bring hope,” he said. “When you bring electricity, you bring hope and open the door to bring Christ.”
I-TEC is a nondenominational ministry that specializes in supporting missions and disaster relief through technology. For the past 25 years, I-TEC volunteers have built and installed electrical systems in over 40 Third-World countries.