Self-sustainability in the heart of the savanna
In September 2015, a team of engineers from the renewable energies consulting firm SULMAG travelled to the ADCAM project in the Maasai Mara (Kenya) to install a solar photovoltaic system via a microgrid. The system will provide electricity from 100% renewable sources to the Mara Vision school, the student residence and the ecotourism camp managed by the Maasai community.
The Mara Vision school, located in the heart of the savanna and founded in 2011, provides nursery and primary education to more than 300 Maasai children. It has a residence where students from remote areas can live, receive full board and participate in extracurricular activities. The school provides quality education adapted to the Maasai culture.
The eco-lodge has all the comforts necessary for tourism and one of its main draws is being located next to the school and the Maasai Manyatta (village), which allows visitors to have a unique experience interacting with the community.
In order for the educational project to be self-sustaining in the long term, an ecotourism camp has been constructed where Maasai warriors introduce visitors to their customs, landscapes, wildlife and lifestyle.
An electrical system using solar photovoltaic energy was designed to supply the existing installations (school, residences and camp) with electrical energy. There is no existing energy supply in the area and this new energy has the added value of coming from 100% clean and renewable sources. It is a centralized photovoltaic energy installation, commonly known as a solar microgrid, which optimises the investment with a single generation point for subsequent distribution via a small network to the points of consumption.
This allows a quality system equivalent to a local electrical network, involving users in the management and sensible use of energy. The estimated consumption is 24,000 Wh/day and the system has been sized to provide three days of autonomy.
The solar microgrid is made up of: a generator field of 10 kW of solar modules (40 x 250 W modules) and a field of 2830 Ah OPzV batteries for energy storage.
CIRCUTOR dispensers: The perfect solution for managing microgrids.
To prevent any misuse of the installation, CIRCUTOR energy dispensers were installed in the different energyuse areas, allowing users to know how much energy they have available.
The energy dispensers ensure a long useful life for the system, as they allow the maximum power and total daily energy available to be configured separately for each of the existing lines, thanks to the EDA (guaranteed daily energy) technology patented by TramaTechnoAmbiental.
The CIRCUTOR dispensers ensure the system will not fail due to the connection of excessive instantaneous power and that the battery bank will not discharge from one of the lines due to improper use of the system.
Each dispenser is configured with its power and guaranteed daily energy based on the needs of each point of consumption. For example, each tent in the lodge has a dispenser via which the user can find out how much energy they have available. The software is controlled and managed by local personnel, whom SULMAG trained during the implementation of the project. They can connect remotely to supervise proper use and provide ongoing support to the local team.
The dispensers are configured and managed through DISPENSER-SOFT, a software that enables the creation of a large database that contains all the users and dispensers of the microgrid. Once all the dispensers, users, energy parameters, tariffs, etc. have been created and configured, the software stores all the information on RFID cards.
There are countless benefits for the project and the community, from the creation of a computer room for the students of ADCAM Mara Vision school, to the ability to project films for young children and impeccable lighting in the camp.
The CIRCUTOR Dispenser is a single-phase/three-phase meter with an electrical energy dispenser function to control demand. The two functions it performs are to control the maximum power allowed and to regulate the daily energy consumption of users of a permanently powered microgrid. Its four built-in working modes enable maximum energy optimisation of the microgrid. It also allows users to intelligently manage the energy available in networks, with limited or pulsed generation, such as the energy available from renewable energy sources. It features a main switch that controls maximum power and an auxiliary relay that can be used to connect or disconnect non-essential consumption.
|More information: Renewable energies
|Product datasheet: Dispenser series