P_P Rwanda_access - SunEnergy Power International



P_P Rwanda_access - SunEnergy Power International
SEPI Project Profile: Rwanda
January - February 2009
Project Overview:
Project Information:
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) has been involved in providing photovoltaic
systems for health care facilities in Rwanda for several years. SunEnergy Power
Location: Northern and Southern
International’s Walt Ratterman has again teamed up with SELF to assist in the
training and implementation stages of this phase of the work.
This effort, conducted in January and February of 2009, included 5 health care
facilities for ACCESS and one facility for the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund
Project Partners:
Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)
SunEnergy Power International
International (DFGFI).
The five ACCESS clinics were in Gihinga, Kamabuye, Nyakalira, Mwogo, and
Nzangwa. These areas are all in the southern part of the country, on the way to
Burundi. The DFGFI clinic is located in Bisate, in the extreme northern part of
Scope of Project: Preliminary training in
operation and maintenance of the
systems, followed by installations at 6
health care facilities, with continuing
hands-on training of local technicians.
Rwanda in the Vurunga Gorilla preserve area.
All of the sites are completely off-grid.
These projects provide the clinics with
electrical energy for basic clinical, lighting, and communication needs.
The project implementation work included the training of on-site technicians as
well as a continued training of an installation team that has been working on these
projects for several years now.
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11 Laurel Lane South, Washougal, WA 98671
System description: The systems were
generally 1,400 to 2,000 Watts peak of
solar panels, with a 3,000 watt inverter,
and two or three strings of gel batteries.
Existing generators were incorporated for
supplemental charging.Solar Panels by
Solar World, Mitsubishi and BP Solar.
The inverters were Outback Power and
Exeltech.Charge Controllers were by
Morningstar Corporation. The batteries
were DEKKA .
Project Execution:
SELF had already designed, purchased and shipped the equipment to Kigali, in time for the beginning of the project. SELF has a
local office an manager in Kigali, Jerome Uwimana, who was key in the in-country pre-planning, logistics, and team supervision.
Our first step was to conduct two-day training for representatives from the various
organizations and geographical areas. This training covered basic design information,
focusing on the design of these particular systems, and highlighted the expected regular
operation and maintenance functions needed to keep everything operational. There were
about 17 representatives present for this training.
Following the training, we completed the ongoing effort of extracting all of the equipment
from customs, and staging it for delivery to the 6 sites. This was done in a central
warehouse in Kigali.
After assembling our team of 8 technicians, most of whom we had worked with previously,
we took the group on the road and headed south – the location of the first five sites.
Jerome found us all a place to stay in the general area, where the drive to each site did
not exceed 1.5 hours. While at the sites, we engaged the local technicians for the health
facility to be part of the installation team.
After completing the five sites for
ACCESS, we packed up and headed for the north, where we did the installation
work at Bisate, for DFGFI.
After all six sites were complete, we returned to all of the sites in the south to be
sure that they were still operating properly, and to do continued training of the
hospital staff. As part of the project, we had installed significant monitoring
equipment that will help the team determine the daily performance of the
Going Forward:
One of the difficulties in dealing with the sustainability of off-grid remote power systems is in knowing what is really happening
with the system, and exactly how to deal with difficulties when they come up. When systems do have problems, it is generally
demonstrated through reduced performance of the batteries to maintain the full charge. Without monitoring, it is difficult to know if
this is a problem related to the batteries, or the solar panels, the generator, or due to an increased load condition. With the
installation of appropriate monitoring equipment, we should be able to determine exactly what is going on with the systems. This
monitoring equipment was donated by Outback Power.
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11 Laurel Lane South, Washougal, WA 98671

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