Press Releases

Press release: Education needs electricity – photovoltaics guarantees teaching (The Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Ulm/Bukavu September 2015 – The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the third largest country in Africa, bordered to the north by the Central African Republic and the Sudan, to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, to the south by Zambia and Angola, and to the west to the Republic of Congo. According to the OECD (Organisation for Eco- nomic Co-operation and Development), in the DRC more than 75% of the population have no access to electricity. Even facilities that are connected to the power grid and/or rely on photovoltaics as an energy source must contend with constant power cuts – lack of maintenance, theft, damaged power lines, and technical losses all reduce the amount of energy that can be utilised.
In October 2014, the extension of PV stand-alone systems and the expansion of photovoltaic equipment for teaching and research purposes in the area of energy and climate protection were announced for a University in Bukavu in the east. With a total of eight systems, distributed throughout the campus, an environmentally friendly and long term cost-effective power supply is to be ensured, whereas up to now a regular lecture operation was hardly possible due to constant power outages.
As system integrator and a specialist in independent photovoltaic and solar thermal systems SOLAR23, based in Ulm/ Germany, was identified as the best option in terms of price, quality and return on investment, and in January 2015 was selected for the design of systems with quality components from leading manufacturers of modules, batteries, inverters, charge controllers, cables and installation materials as well as additional documentation, delivery to Bukavu and on-site installation.
The total output of the units, constituting a total investment volume of about €80,000, is 12.8 kWp and was implemen- ted by SOLAR23 as planned in July. The installation was carried out with long-term local partners, as well as students of the University, who were able to gain competencies and practical experience in sustainability through the required training.
„We are proud to have won and systematically implemented this project in Bukavu thanks to our experience, our at- tention to quality and our consistent demand- and customer orientation“, said Tobias Merkel, CEO of SOLAR23 GmbH. Thanks to a system that also supplies electricity during power blackouts with the help of charge controllers and battery systems, the faculty and students of the university can now rely on trouble-free lectures operating with about 20,000 kWh/year.



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