07 Jan The Saint Benedict Menni Health Center will have a new solar power system
The Saint Benedict Menni Health Center in Monrovia, Liberia, has started procedures to set up a system for solar power production and accumulation, which will allow for covering most of the energy needs in the compound along with the current diesel generator.
Now, all buildings in Sisters Hospitallers´ facility in Pipeline –Health Center, Sisters´ House, warehouse and guest house, and Step Down Unit– get electric power from a diesel generator which is started only two times a day, due to high fuel costs. The rest of the time, facilities can´t get energy supply, because the current solar panels system is damaged and obsolete.
To alleviate this issue, replacement of the current solar energy system was due, and therefore, a Spanish company was comissioned to provide and set up a new system, which comprises:
- 57 photovoltaic modules of 260 watts (14.82 kWp).
- 1 Sunny Tripower 15000 inverter that will allow to transform the continuous energy of the panels into conventional alternating energy.
- 3 Sunny Island battery charger inverters (24 kW) that will generate the three-phase alternating network needed for domestic consumption, as well as charge the batteries when there is excess solar energy and for later night use. In addition, these inverters will decide when the existing diesel group should start and provide power in the event that the energy of the solar panels is not enough. This situation will occur in the rainy season or on some nights if consumption is high.
- 24 Hoppecke batteries of 1820 Ah capacity that will allow to accumulate 87 kWh of energy.
An illustration of the system can be seen on the image above:
- in yellow and with number (3), the inverters chargers Sunny Island 8.0
- with the number (4), the Hopppecke battery pack
- with the number (5), the existing generator set 65 kVA
- in red, outside, the network inverter STP 15000
- on the roof, the 57 photovoltaic modules
The location for the installation of the 57 panels will be in the Step Down Unit building as it has a wide surface as well as proximity to the generator set, but it can really be installed on any roof with good support structure as well as few shadows. The orientation of the photovoltaic panels does not affect as much as in Europe since we are in latitudes near the equator and with a majority of days of diffuse radiation. So with maintaining 10 degrees of tilt that allow self-cleaning after a rainfall will suffice.
The batteries and the Sunny Island will be installed replacing the current batteries in the Sisters´ House and will be connected to the AC network according to a single line diagram below.
A fundamental feature of this design is the ease / flexibility of expansion in case of future needs. The three Sunny Island allow to integrate up to a total of 36 solar kwh of which only 15 kW will be installed today. And if necessary, the power of the Sunny Island can be doubled from 24 kW to 48 kW just by adding a multicluster board and three more inverters. This allows the center to be able to adapt to future needs in a gradual manner and without a high and definitive initial investment.
Another very important feature is that all components are of German origin and manufacture. Fundamental guarantee for investments that recover in the medium term and where low maintenance and high reliability are essential characteristics. The system has also provided a powerful earth network to provide high protection against atmospheric overvoltages.
The system has integrated communication via internet to be able to follow any incidence online and ensure a correct maintenance.
Totals costs of the system equipment and set up sum up US$ 51,596, which will be allocated from the funds of We Are Like You obtained through donations from individuals and companies, and the aids from private and public bodies.