Grey Green has completed a further 3 x 2.5kW off-grid solar PV computer labs for SHAWCO in Kensington, Khayelitsha and Manenberg. In addition to this, a further 4 x off-grid solar powered computer labs have been built, installed and commissioned in public schools around Soweto to be managed and run by Sci-Bono. The PV Panels used for these projects were sponsored by SUNPOWER. The gallery above shows 3D renderings from AutoCAD while actual pictures after installation are shown in the gallery below.
The training was divided broadly into four themes. The first of which was to provide the basic wiring skills necessary to be able to carry out safe and reliable repairs to the systems. This included a description of all the necessary tools, what they are used for how to use them. The tools were used for cutting, stripping and crimping wire, which are essential skills. Furthermore this included practical training, whereby each student would need to cut, strip and crimp wires to an acceptable standard.
The second theme covered training on the basics of how each main component worked, which included the solar panel, battery, charge controller, switch and fuse. The students were required to be able to describe what the function of each of the components was, and how they all related to each other.
The third theme focussed on how the system was designed, or more specifically how it was wired internally. The training involved using an example Lightbox, which was disassembled into its component pieces, and slowly put back together one piece at time until the system was working again. This also involved a discussion of the purpose of each of the components and why it was wired the way it was. The students were then required to each disassemble the components and then rewire it themselves with limited help. This was completed successfully by all present.
The fourth and final part of the training was to diagnose and repair faulty Lightboxes. A message was sent out to the community to bring in their Lightboxes if they needed repair. The faulty systems were then diagnosed and repaired by the students themselves, with supervision.
Our team of 4 Grey Green engineers and 12 local volunteers assembled and installed 250 Lightbox systems in 3 weeks in Msobomvu, Eastern Cape. We achieved this without having or needing access to any other power sources on site.
Grey Green was commissioned to do a detailed design for an off-grid Solar PV system to provide electricity to the Shingwedzi Cliffs Bush Camp. The camp comprised an entertainment and facilities area, as well as staff and guest accommodation. The design included 7.5kW of solar PV panels centralised on a ground mounted support structure with a 600Ah battery backup and 10kW inverter for AC power. Sophisticated power point trackers were included to optimise output. Furthermore, detailed specification with regards to energy efficient appliances and practices was also provided to ensure maximum effectiveness of the system.