The Secondary School which is located in the heart of Umuchima near the Bishopric City of Orlu in Imo State, Nigeria, about 600 km from Lagos, the largest economic center of Nigeria. Though the national electricity grid reaches the school compound, its problem is not just a matter of occasional power outages, but that national electricity is often not available at all for many months. Therefore the school compound had been equipped with a 60kVA three phase synchronous diesel generator – running about one hour in the morning and four to five hours in the evening. Constant power supply 24h/day and 7days/week was not affordable due to high price of diesel and maintenance costs.
In order to solve the electric problems of the residential school and to supply it with constant, reliable and moreover clean energy, SOLAR23, the Africa and solar power expert, was asked to deliver a full turn-key PV system after finishing a project study.
Taking future technology development and increasing number of students into consideration, SOLAR23 designed, delivered & installed a 17 kWp AC-coupled PV Off-Grid system in Nigeria – including a battery bank that ensures two days of power coming from the batteries even if the PV generator might not be working.
The PV system is designed in such a way, that it is open to future expansions. The PV generator will be well guarded and taken care of. The maintenance of the system is ensured, also for the years to come. The state-of-the art PV system is expected to generate an energy output of around 26,000 kWh per year and a specific energy yield of approx. 1,500 kWh/kWp. SOLAR23, known to strive for highest quality, shipped 60 mono crystalline modules with each 285 Wp, made by German reputable manufacturers, three-phase grid inverter, three-phase battery inverter including preparations for expansion of the system, remote maintenance system by German world market leader, an AC wiring closet individually assembled for this project, 48V battery system with a total capacity of 144 kWh and various other corresponding components. SOLAR23 not only sourced and delivered the components but also calculated the dimensioning of the system and provided professional consulting throughout the project.
The whole project was funded by the German legally acknowledged welfare association. The photovoltaic system now helps to educate the children by guaranteeing electric power for lighting and air conditioning in the school and the dormitories as well as computer systems and laboratories.
About the school
The Secondary School is run according to the English school system with English as the classroom language. The students spend a total of six years in the school, concluding with the acquisition of the WASCE (West African School Certificate of Education) and SSCE (Senior Secondary Certificate of Education). Both correspond to the English GCE (General Certificate of Education) O-Level and qualify one for admission into tertiary educational institutions (University, Polytechnics etc.).
The residential school has presently 42 tutors and almost 400 students between 10 and 18 years of age. It comprises an area of about 190.000 square meters (half of which is still undeveloped bush) and consists of 12 major buildings. It is planned to increase the school’s capacity to 500 students and 50 teachers after the reconstruction of two obsolete buildings.