Aptech Africa recently designed, supplied and is currently installing three off-grid and three hybrid solar systems in Vanimo and Wewak provinces in Papua New Guinea in a project funded by the UNDP. Four systems have so far been completed, and commissioned in the presence of EU – Support to Rural Entrepreneur, Investment and Trade (EU-STREIT), government delegates and UNDP.
All the six systems are roof-mounted totaling up to 301.5kWp of solar panels and 853.5kWh of lithium-ion battery storage. These include 95.58kWp with 267.3kWh at Nagum SDA Secondary School, 92.88kWp with 243kWh at Vanimo Secondary School, 58.5kWp with 180kWh at Don Bosco Secondary School, 15.12kWp with 48kWh at Taul Community Health Post, 14.04kWp with 43.2kWh at Dagua Community Health Post and 25kWp with 72kWh at Baro Health Community Center. For off-grid sites, Pylontech batteries with Deye inverters were used. For hybrid sites, Alpha ESS integrated system of batteries and inverters were used.
All the systems can be remotely monitored through their inbuilt monitoring devices that help to communicate the Battery SOC, PV generated power, supplied power as well as fault detection capability which assists in allowing early problem solving and preventing future damage to installed equipment. This can all be seen through the Solar man platform for the off-grid systems and on Alpha ESS cloud for the hybrid systems and on-site that can be used both on phone and laptop.
Currently only 18% of the people in PNG have access to electricity and grid connected power is primarily restricted to major urban centers.
With 80% of the country’s population being situated in rural areas, these sites were selected because of their location in rural areas with no access to the grid.
It was thought necessary to install the PV System at the sites to improve health and educational services. Some of the sites there have been generators but not functional resulting in installing off-grid systems, on sites with functioning generators, hybrid systems have been installed to counteract the high fuel prices within the area.
Aptech Africa, being an EPC African based company, we are so excited and privileged to be implementing this project to completion. This is our first on the Oceania continent and have worked beyond limit to ensure timely delivery of goods in Papua New Guinea, coordination of the relevant project stakeholders and ensured compliance to the grid tied systems as specified by the Grid regulatory Authority in the country, PNG Power Limited
This project is estimated to benefit over 5,000 people, including students, teachers and community members through the improved health and educational services. For the schools, the system is entirely supplying all the existing loads at the schools including computers, printers etc. At the health centers, health facilities the systems will help improve the services including decreased maternity death rate as the centers will run on uninterruptable power supply during day and night.
In addition, these systems will contribute to great goal of the UNDP of sustainable development through the renewable energy established these centers that ensures reduced carbon emissions that would be extreme if only the sites depended on diesel generators.