Maintenance and renewal of the solar system

Posted in: Switzerland

The school’s power supply is still being regularly interrupted, and recently even without notice. A solar power system allows the students to do their homework in the evening even when the power is cut. After 10 years, many batteries no longer store enough energy to cover the whole evening. Until now, electrician George Mubiana has ensured that the rooms where homework is done have batteries that provide enough power by swapping them between classrooms. A little review: since battery life is reduced by a month each time all power is withdrawn, we decided to protect the batteries with time clocks three years after the completion of the installation. The time clocks limit the solar system’s current draw to three hours per day (which is what the system was designed for). They are in the small grey box next to the blue inverter (which converts the direct current into 220 V alternating current). Undoubtedly, the batteries have already suffered from regular overuse in the first three years.
In October, it became clear that replacing the batteries would not improve the situation much more, and half of the batteries had to be replaced after 10 years instead of the hoped-for 15 years. On December 11th, supervisor Joseph Chipindi and contractor Brian Chilala collected 24 batteries from Suntech in Kafue (near Lusaka). There, they were helped by Suntech co-owner Laureijs Smulders.
Back in Namwala, Principal Charles Simaambo and electrician George Mubiana received the batteries from Brian Chilala. Students and teachers helped to unload the truck. The development of solar technology does not stand still. The system has now been equipped with battery controller and battery balancers. It has paid off that George Mubiana attended a one-week course on solar system technology at Suntech 10 years ago.
Total costs Fr. 13’000.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options