The majority of the approximately 80 million residents of Ethiopia live in remote and mountainous regions without access to power supply. The country in Africa's northeast belongs to the highest countries on the continent. Over half of the country is at least 1,200 meter above sea level. In many cases, there is no access to the public power network.
With the project "Access to Modern Energy Services Ethiopia" (AMES-E), the GTZ, a federally owned organization for international cooperation and sustainable development, helps to improve the electricity supply situation in rural and remote parts of the country. For this project, SMA provided a total of 100 battery power inverters to supply medical clinics with solar-generated alternating current (AC). In these Health Cares about 20 doctors and nurses tend to the patients.
More quality of life with SMA inverters
During the first phase, SMA delivered the technology for 50 systems with the Sunny Island and Sunny Boy inverters at the end of last year. In the second phase, another 50 Sunny Island and Sunny Boy inverters will be installed. The solar power plants with a capacity of 1.5 kWp and a maintenance-free battery are used to power crucial equipment in the medical clinics, such as microscopes, centrifuges, refrigerators, and sterilizers.
"With a project of this scale, we can significantly contribute to a better power supply situation in the mountainous regions of Ethiopia," says Volker Wachenfeld, SMA Vice President Off-Grid Systems. "Especially the connection to a stand-alone solar power supply of the medical clinics finally ensures access to medical care. A sufficient health care is essential to achieve on a long-term more quality of life. This is where the off-grid systems make a contribution to the future."
A great advantage of the AC-coupled stand-alone grid with Sunny Island inverters: The grid can be easily expanded along with rising energy demands. This allows, for example, surrounding buildings to be connected to the stand-alone grid. Moreover, solar power that is not used up during the day will be available for energy supply during the night because of the battery. This is crucial for powering the electrical devices in the clinics during the night.
"To us, sustainable energy supply also means that the PV system operators are able to handle their own equipment as independently as possible," says Wachenfeld. This is why SMA service teams regularly train the local operators. SMA inverters not only contribute to a substantial improvement of possibilities, but at the same time support the independence of the locals.
The SMA Group generated sales of 934 million Euro in 2009 and is the worldwide market leader for photovoltaic inverters, a key component of each solar power plant. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented on four continents by 13 foreign subsidiaries. The Group employs a staff of over 5,000 (incl. temporary workers). SMA’s product portfolio includes a broad range of inverters, offering a compatible inverter for every type of photovoltaic module and for all plant sizes. The product range covers both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company SMA Solar Technology AG has been listed in the Prime Standard on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for its excellence as an employer.
About the GTZ
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH is a federally owned organization. The GTZ works worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. Their mandate is to support the German Government in achieving its development objectives. The GTZ provides viable, forward-looking solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development in a globalized world. Sometimes working under difficult conditions, GTZ promotes complex reforms and change processes. Their corporate objective is to improve people’s lives on a sustainable basis.
SMA Solar Technology AG
SMA Solar Technology AG
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