Stephan Gold, a San Francisco building contractor, assembles solar-power kits for wildlife researchers in the field. Thus when researchers are tracking elephants in remote northern Kenya and require a stable source of electricity for their camp, they turn to Stephen Gold.
Gold works as a volunteer for the Wildlife Conservation Network in Los Altos, in order to figure out the equipment that the researches will need. He then gathers the required equipment from companies willing to donate to a worthy cause, packs it up with some instructions and ships it to far off corners of the world.
Starting from 2006, Gold has shipped 11 of his solar kits to conservation projects in the wild. Although it may not be a huge project, but the researchers get a reliable way to power their computers, blood-sample freezers and satellite data transmitters.
Diesel generators are another option for field researchers to rely upon. But generators can be loud which can become a problem if you’re studying wildlife. Moreover, fuel is not easily available in many places in the developing world.
After some efforts, Gold has found willing partners in the solar industry that provide him with panels, invertors, wiring, rechargeable batteries, and solar water heaters. He then gathers the gear in a garage near Cesar Chavez Street and assembles it. Some of the important donors include BP Solar, Beronio Lumber, OutBack Power Systems and Solar Depot.
The kits are assembled in crates of rough plywood, and stacked to the ceiling. The researchers who receive the gear are decided by Gold on behalf of the Wildlife Conservation Network.