New solar mini-grid plants operational in Liberia

New solar mini-grid projects operational in Liberia

In June 2017, five remote communities in Lofa receive a solar power plant and mini-grids as part of the project Light Up Our Futures, funded by EU and implemented by PLAN International and VOSIEDA, with technical support of GIZ/EnDev. Five engineers from Sunlabob, coming from Germany, Australia, Belgium, Uganda, Sierra Leone worked along with 15 Liberian electricians, electronics, or solar technicians. They worked in four teams: one to arrange the batteries and the cables as well as protective devices in the control room, the second group built the structure and mounted the panels. The third group connected the cables in the control room and the household wiring. The fourth group did the distribution lines.

Each community has 80 to 90 solar panels, on a 4 to 5 meters high aluminum structure. In the power house and control room the batteries are stored, 2 volt each put in series. There are also safety devices, for all 15 panels in series and in parallels, breakers for 15, 5 boxes,each panel has one breaker and a charge controller. If sun is shining, it can be 100 Volt, so the charge controller transforms it to 48 Volt, from there to the inverter. Everything is AC, except for the monitoring system that is DC.

The monitoring system includes sensors that send information to the generator if the battery is low, to charge the battery. When the battery is charged, the information is sent and the generator will shut down all by itself. People are only needed to refuel the generator. The company has the code for the monitoring system. They can access it via internet in theory, but in reality the network there is not strong, so people still have to go there to get the information.

The installations have been completed, four communities have been electrified. In the fifth community, a fire broke out in one room of the powerhouse and damaged some of the equipment.

To ensure sustainability and save money for maintenance and repair, residents pay around 350LD per month for a single 8 Watt bulb and a 6 Watt bulb with a prepaid meter. If they want more, they pay more.

Source: Renewables Liberia (Read more HERE)

Observatory Country: 


News Type: 

Country Profile Highlight