Where electricity is coupled with hope
What we take for granted in Europe is not necessarily something that people in the small African state of Malawi can rely on: we just flick a switch and we have electricity. In many countries and regions of the world – not just in Africa – people do not have mains electricity or have to endure frequent power cuts. The lack of a nationwide, reliable energy supply is one of the greatest obstacles to economic development in these parts of the world. In the face of population growth and increasing levels of industrialisation, energy demand is rising constantly in more and more countries. But if we want to solve the problem of increasing power consumption, we have to develop our use of renewable energy sources.
In recent years numerous countries in Africa and south-east Asia have discovered the concept of renewable energy sources for themselves. The benefits are self-evident: unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is infinitely available, does not release greenhouse gases and does not pollute the environment. However, this energy can only be used sustainably if there are also the appropriate back-up systems to safeguard grid quality. In the event of a power failure, the back-up system will maintain the power supply, thereby ensuring that machinery and lighting can continue to run and that the population in the affected areas can have access to the necessary electricity. Especially in small but populous countries – such as Malawi with its 18 million inhabitants – a permanent and stable energy supply is one of the key prerequisites for guaranteeing the population a secure future and educational opportunities. When we were asked to advise a non-profit organisation in the country on utilising a climate-friendly solar back-up power supply system and to provide support, HOPPECKE realised immediately that we could help to ensure continuous operation.
Two containers that also pack a wealth of experience
Our long-standing HOPPECKE partner SOLAR23 was faced with the task of developing a solution for a locally managed community project sponsored by a British aid organisation, and this solution had to take account of the conditions on the ground. The project in Blantyre, Malawi, promotes vocational training and offers support for people from this region who want to start their own business. In addition the project provides people in this part of Malawi with computers and equipment that they can borrow when necessary. Our experts instantly realised what was needed: a reliable electricity supply is vital for this support to work. That is why it was decided to expand the existing 30 kWp solar back-up system. The specification called for the following: create new carports for an additional 60 kWp photovoltaic system and a 500 kWhnom storage solution in containers. The solution took the form of two thermally well-insulated containers under a carport that was a steel structure designed by SOLAR23. Furthermore our team undertook to deliver the equipment to the system integrator, who had satisfied the British aid organisation of the reliability, durability, temperature stability and environmental compatibility of HOPPECKE products. Consequently a 20-ft container with sun | power VL batteries and another container with inverter technology were installed on site. This was a simple task for the team of experts from HOPPECKE and SOLAR23, but a major advance for the people living in the region, who are pleased to have better access to educational opportunities.
All-round satisfaction with the project, also as far as the European customers are concerned:
”We are delighted that, with HOPPECKE as our partner, we have a company that has decades of experience with a wide range of projects, combined with tried and tested products. The optimum availability and short delivery times for all elements have inspired confidence. At the same time our collaboration was built on mutual trust – and special thanks are due to the office staff and field engineers of HOPPECKE, who were always ready to listen to our wishes and requests.“
AYHAN COSKUN, PROJECT & SALES MANAGER AT SOLAR23