Cameroon 21st December 2021 – Solarworx has expanded it’s pilot program for interconnecting Solar Home Systems to a DC Microgrid to Cameroon. In the course of the next year around 250 Solar Home Systems as well as two Microgrids consisting of around 40 participants each will be installed with the support of local off-grid distribution companies upOwa and Solkamtech.

The new Mesh technology

The mesh module developed by Solarworx is the interface between the solar home system and the distribution grid. The new microgrid technology enables the interconnection of existing solar home systems into a 60V DC distribution grid, where excess solar generation capacity of individual systems and unused battery capacity can be shared at the grid level. This allows to include also villiagers into the grid who don’t have their own Solar Home System. Appliances up to 250W can be powered so that higher Tier electrification levels of 3-4 can be reached compared to unconnected systems (compare Multi-Tier framework here).

“The Mesh technology unleashes the unused potential of Solar Home Systems and thereby provides higher power quality to whole communities. Installed and maintained by local companies or even the community itself the technology has a high degree of acceptance and ownership.” says Alexander Hoffmann, Solarworx COO and project manager

The RES Project Cameroon is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the Renewable Energy Solutions Programme of the German Energy Solutions Initiative. Main focus of the program are public relations and strategic networking on site.

Futhermore the “Green Startup” program by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) accelerated the Research & Development, testing and deployment of the Microgrid technology. It is the objective of the DBU to contribute to the solution of current environmental problems, in particular, which result from unsustainable business practices and lifestyles.

The local project partners upOwa based in Yaoundé and Solkamtech from Maroua take care of conducting marketing activities, sales, installation and maintenance as well as customer service. First installations of Solar Home Systems and Microgrid infrastructure have been undertaken in the past weeks as shown in the photos below.

Cameroon device monitoring

Solarworx Solar Home Systems “Solego 80/160” are equipped with GSM modems that allow monitoring on an hourly basis depending on the network coverage. The energy data provided during the last 30 days from Cameroon can be tracked on the dashboard below. Date ranges can be adjusted on the top right or by zooming into individual panels. Further questions regarding dashboard handling are described under https://grafana.com/docs/

The first panel depicts the accumulated solar panel power as well as total load of all devices. The following two panels reflect averages of solar yield, load power and battery state of charge (SoC). A table listing all individual systems including last states can be found at the bottom of the dashboard. Please use the following credentials for login.

username: dena
password: dena

About the consortium:

Solarworx
Solarworx was founded in Berlin in 2017 by two engineers Felix Boldt and Jakob Schily and the entrepreneur Franz Josef Buschmeier. The goal is to develop and produce a new generation of sustainable and affordable solar energy systems for countries in the global south. In doing so, the founders can draw on many years of experience in rural electrification in East Africa in areas without electricity supply. Solarworx systems enable the electrification of individual households, businesses and, through a novel smart-grid networking concept, electricity trading within entire communities. Local small business owners, such as barber stores, kiosks, and rural poultry farms, receive a reliable and clean power supply that reduces energy expenses and strengthens their economy.

 

upOwa
upOwa is a Solar Home System distribution company based in Yaoundé (Cameroon). Its mission is to resolve the energy access gap by providing people with affordable electricity and high-quality associated services in off-grid villages. upOwa has completed 40,000 installations in Cameroon mainly in rural areas, representing more than 200,000 people who benefit from reliable electricity on a daily basis.
https://www.upowa.energy/

 

German Energy Agency (dena)
dena is the centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. As Agency for Applied Energy Transition we help achieve energy and climate policy objectives by developing solutions and putting them into practice, both nationally and internationally. In order to do this, we bring partners from politics and business together, across sectors. dena’s shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the KfW Group. www.dena.de/en

 

The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU)
The DBU funds innovative, exemplary and solution-oriented projects for the protection of the environment, with special consideration of small and medium-sized enterprises. The funding activities focus on environmental technology and research, nature conservation, environmental communication and protection of cultural assets.

Since the foundation began its work in 1991 (it was established in 1990), it has supported more than 10,300 projects with a funding volume of around 1.9 billion euros. The foundation’s current capital is 2.33 billion euros. (as of November 2021)