Rural Zambian schools powered by S&C Electric solar plus energy storage solution

Fri, 2015-05-22 06:00 -- SCC Staff

With no access to an electric grid, two primary schools in rural Zambia would have been unable to provide computer science lessons for their students without some technological assistance. Council Lead Partner S&C Electric, in conjunction with the UK organization Discovery Student Volunteering and the Siovonga Nutrition Group of Siavonga, Zambia, put together a combined solar and energy storage system that has enabled the schools to provide classes off-grid.

The solar+storage system cranks out enough electricity to provide power for small Raspberry Pi computers specifically designed for low-power consumption and use in countries in the developing world.

The components of the system are 80 watt solar panels and lead acid batteries. The computers are plugged into computer monitors or TVs and students use a standard keyboard and mouse to operate them.

Over two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa has no electricity and it is even more scarce in rural areas. Because there is no primary grid for backup, power systems based on intermittent renewable energy need an energy storage component to ensure they are able to operate efficiently.

"Energy storage has the potential to transform lives by giving people access for the first time to electricity, something most of the world takes for granted," said Tony Rooney, S&C Electric's managing director for Europe, in a Power Technology article. "By combining energy storage with renewable technologies like solar, communities can now access power without being connected to the grid."

Related resources…
S&C Provides Community Energy Storage to Smooth Solar Power in California
Brutally Cold Winter Can’t Stop Completion of Wisconsin’s First Utility-Scale Solar Energy Project


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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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