Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Solar Means 24-Hour Power For African Village

Solar Means 24-Hour Power For African Village

by Kristy Hessman, September 21st, 2011

Africans in the small community of Tsumkwe, Namibia, have something they
haven�t had for three years: electricity 24 hours a day. Juwi Solar, a
company headquartered in Germany, has installed a hybrid solar system in
the community that supplies all public buildings and 100 households with
round-the-clock power.

The project, reported by Renewable Energy Magazine, is being called one of
Africa�s largest off-grid solar power systems with a generating capacity
of 200 kilowatts (kW), battery storage of 1 megawatt (MW) and three
integrated disel generators. The system was constructed in just six weeks
by Juwi with the help of its regional partner, Alternative Energy Systems.

Previously, the community�s power supply consisted of a diesel generator
that could only be used for up to three hours per day because of rising
oil costs. With the new solar power source, the community has electricity
around the clock to power its hospital ward, water supply, street lights,
police station, radio station and mobile communications network.

�The installed 918 polycrystalline modules supply Tsumkwe with 100 percent
clean power during the day,� Juwi said. �Three diesel generators � are
integrated into the system and can be switched on in the evening or in
case of a low battery.�

The power will be operated by the local company, NamPower, and local
technicians have been trained by Juwi to ensure proper operation and
maintenance of the system. Juwi officials say they hope to have set the
standard with the project and want to replicate its success to additional
African communities.

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