Stable Solar Power for Children in Haiti
ROCKLIN, Calif., and ONTARIO—Last week SMA America joined representatives from NRG Energy, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the Solar Electric Light Foundation (SELF) on a charity mission to Haiti to install a 53 kW solar PV array at the Zanmi Beni Home for Children. The project site is in Santo, Haiti, a town located northeast of Port-Au-Prince.
Zanmi Beni is a project of Partners in Health and its Haitian sister organization Zanmi Lasante. It is designed to provide long-term care to children affected by the devastating earthquake in January 2010. Installing a PV system for the Zanmi Beni Children’s Home will provide these children — many of whom have disabilities — with better, safer living conditions in their everyday lives. Solar power is also an economical option for the home due to Haiti’s traditionally high energy costs and unreliable grid.
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“This has been an exceptionally rewarding project and SMA was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the NRG and the Clinton Global Initiative to help improve the lives of these children with solar power,” said Jurgen Krehnke, president and general manager of SMA America and president of SMA Canada. “We were glad to supply the inverters for this system and to have some of our experts donate their time to travel to Haiti and help install the system.”
SMA America supplied six Sunny Boy 9000 TL-US transformerless inverters, six Sunny Island 5048-US battery backup inverters and a Multicluster Box for the installation. The inverters will work with 236 Trina PA05 solar panels to create a hybrid off-grid/on-grid PV system with battery backup. This will allow Zanmi Beni to run most, if not all, of its load from solar electricity, resulting in the stable supply of clean, safe energy. This is one of many projects in progress to help Haiti rebuild from the 2010 earthquake and create a renewable energy infrastructure in the nation.
"In a country of many needs, the orphans of Zanmi Beni stand out as deserving special help,” said David Crane, NRG Energy’s CEO. “NRG was pleased to bring the light of solar power to the children but we could not have done so without the capable assistance of our partner SMA and their state-of-the-art Sunny Boy system."
The UL listed Sunny Boy 9000 TL-US installed in the system in Haiti features SMA’s H5 topology, which results in efficiencies up to 98 percent and unmatched energy production. SMA’s transformerless inverters are lighter weight and offer higher efficiencies and enhanced safety features to provide optimum value.
SMA’s Sunny Island 5048-US enables off-grid operation with a battery bank. The Sunny Island is a self-sufficient AC voltage grid that meets SMA’s highest quality standards. Each Sunny Island is equipped with best-in-class grid and battery management functions, including monitoring. As system manager, it collects real-time data and makes intelligent decisions based on battery state of charge, state of health, electrical loads and generation capacity. At times when the batteries are discharged and there is little generation capacity, it can activate a backup energy source (such as a generator) or switch off certain consumption loads.
The Multicluster Box, paired with SMA’s US series of Sunny Islands, is an off-grid AC distribution hub that manages a variety of renewable and combustion generation sources for large-scale Sunny Island Multicluster systems. It simplifies the installation of off-grid PV systems, providing superior design flexibility and making rural electrification simple and scalable. It is ideal for installations up to 110 kW.
The SMA Group generated sales of €1.7 billion in 2011 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented in 20 countries on four continents. The Group employs more than 5,500 people worldwide, plus a number of temporary employees that varies on a seasonal basis. SMA’s broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all PV plant sizes. The product range includes inverters both for grid-connected PV plants and for off-grid systems. SMA can therefore provide an ideal inverter solution for all plant sizes and types. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for excellence as an employer and in 2011 and 2012 achieved first place in Germany’s nationwide Great Place to Work® competition.www.SMA-America.com/www.SMA-Canada.ca
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.