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(2014) Schmidtsdrift – Solar Energy brings hope to a struggling community

Schmidtsdrift – Solar Energy brings hope to a struggling community

In a remote corner in the Northern Cape near Kimberley, lies Schmidtsdrift – a land with many challenges and a former army barracks where ex-recruits from the earlier war against SWAPO were settled, after Namibia’s independence in 1990.

Improved governmental policies

Highlighting the plight of previously-disadvantaged communities, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has developed a Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) specifically to address the developmental backlogs and, in particular, the basic needs of all households in designated areas – such as Schmidtsdrift – which attained a strategic priority no. 3.

Challenges of Schmidtsdrift

The community already had partial – but nowhere near sufficient - electrification provided by the national grid. The demographics include urban, peri-urban and rural cattle posts. Most dwellings are shacks, RDP houses, stone houses and some privately-developed houses.

Within these parameters, the CRDP sought to provide the people of Schmidtsdrift with basic electricity and services. For with these come the basic rights to human dignity: access to lights , entertainment , information, security and communication; putting the people of Schmidtsdrift back in touch with the rest of the country.

Challenge Accepted

The challenge - an energy system that would satisfy these requirements and the resulting system design by SSS incorporated their SS20 smart Distribution box with a cell phone charging output, a solar panel that charges a battery housed in a stainless stell battery box, interior lighting and an outside security light with a motion sensor, A radio and a LCD Television set

With funding provided through the Expanded Public Work Programme, Specialised Solar Systems (SSS) was selected as service provider to bring alternative energy to the community. In keeping with SSS’s vision for providing managed, renewable and sustainable energy, 12 unemployed people (men and women) were selected by the community of Schmidtsdrift to be trained up as solar engineers.

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SS20 Baseline Solar DC Microgrid Smartbox

BASELINE-SS20 SOLAR DC MICROGRID SMARTBOX

The SS20 is Specialized Solar Systems(SSS) most commonly supplied off-grid solar DC microgrid baseline smartbox systems and has many applications. It can be used where grid electrification is not available and also to supplement it. It generates enough power to provide adequate lighting, entertainment and also can power a fridge or a freezer (View the brochure).

ss-20The initial system supplied consists of three interior lights that can be used for eight hours a night,  one exterior security light with motion sensor, a 75W panel, a 102AH battery, stainless steel battery box all necessary cable  and a solar panel roof- or floor-mount bracket.  A DC plug box is supplied that accommodates a 12V radio, a 12V DSTV system and the 12V colour LED television.

Although this system is only supplied with a 75W prime crystalline panel it has the potential to have 200W of solar panels connected to it.  The standard unit is supplied with a radio. The growth of the system can accommodate a television, Hi-Fi, DSTV, DVD and eventually a fridge or freezer that is supplied by Specialized Solar Systems(SSS) as a ’top up’ option.

The system comes standard with an interactive screen on the smart box that indicates battery voltage, load output Amp screen and panel input Amp screen confirming the efficiency of the system at all times.SS20-solar-panel

 The SS20 Smart Box also has the ability to be programmed according to ambient temperature to ensure the correct rate of charge is adhered to. The programmable smart box also has a voltage protection setting ensuring that the usable cycle of the battery is well maintained.

The SS20 Smart Box also has the ability to be programmed according to ambient temperature to ensure the correct rate of charge is adhered to. The programmable smart box also has a voltage protection setting ensuring that the usable cycle of the battery is well maintained.

The design is tamper proof with seals in the battery box and in the load output of the smart box. The fusing systems design functions not only as a current limiter , but also offers the necessary protection against short circuits.

The unit is modular and expandable. It can be adapted according to the consumers needs and has the “top up" potential to accommodate a fridge or freezer.  

Optional Extra:
The SS20 has the potential to accommodate the 'ground-breaking' SSS Web-Based Management System. The web system allows accurate and reliable remote management with user payments and total system control.

For further information on the SS20 and the SSS Web-Based Management System please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Quick setup quide video:

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SS10 Baseline Solar DC Microgrid Smartbox

BASELINE-SS10 SOLAR DC MICROGRID SMARTBOX

The SS10 is Specialized Solar Systems(SSS) smallest off-grid solar DC microgrid baseline smartbox systems and has many applications. It can be used where grid electrification is not available and also to supplement it (View the brochure).

SS10It is supplied with two interior lights that can be used for 8 hours a night, and one exterior spotlight with motion sensor. A 12V DC radio is supplied standard with this unit. The system has all the necessary cables battery, anti tamper battery box, prime crystalline panel and floor or ceiling mount galvanised solar panel bracket.

The interior LED lights are supplied with 15m of cabtyre cable per unit together with the ES27 Fittings and the lamp shades. A 54-LED spotlight that has a day night function as well as a motion sensor function with a timer control and can be set according to the consumers needs.

Even though this unit is supplied with a 50W panel, it does have the potential to be expandable and use a 100W panel.

The battery box also has sufficient space to double up the battery capacity if needed to power a 40cm colour TV.  It is, however, recommended that the SS20 baseline should be used as the initial installation if a TV is required.

The growth principle  referred to as “top up” is used as a community economic driver.


Optional Extra:
The SS10 has the potential to accommodate the ‘ground-breaking’ SSS Web Based Management System. The web-based system allows accurate and reliable remote management of user payments and total system control

For further information on the SS10 and the SSS Web-Based Management System please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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UNEMPLOYED TRAINED IN SOLAR ENERGY

africa-sssUNEMPLOYED IN SCHMIDTSDRIFT TRAINED TO INSTALL SOLAR PANELS IN THE AREA


sss-Schmidtsdrift

Twelve(12) unemployed Solar Engineers from Schmidtsdrift received training in solar panel installation who were selected by the community and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. The Service Provider (Specialized Solar Systems) Mr. Carlos Smith, briefly summarises their training; "The students were trained in Solar Theory, the use of multi meters, diagnostics, maintenance and system design which was concluded in the first week." Solar-Engineers-installing-a-solar-panel-in-Schmidtsdrift

This week, they focused on practical installation and were installing solar panels, DB units, wiring homes for lights, security light-on motion sensors, cell phone charging, TV, radio, the capacity to handle more appliances as well as 'top-up' for solar fridges or freezers which concluded the training."

The solar panel training will assist the 12 unemployed as approximately 210 houses in the area have no electricity and is set to receive Solar Home Systems. The installations of solar panels to 210 houses are part of The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme spearheaded by the Department. One of the objectives of the CROP is to address the developmental backlogs and in particular the basic needs of all households in designated areas.

Solar panels form part of renewable energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat (naturally replenished).

Mr Samuel Kgatlhane attended the training and had this to say; "We have learned much about solar installation and this project will assist us greatly by putting something on the table as life is difficult when one is not working."

 

Source: Agriculture, land reform & rural development: NEWS BRIEF 26 April - 03 May 2013