Energy Agency installs solar systems in schools with no access to electricity

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The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), under a 2016 capital budgeted project, has completed the installation and rehabilitation of four (4) solar systems at schools  located in the hinterland and riverain communities and which were without access to electricity.

Beneficiaries include the 58 Miles Primary School located along the Mabura Road in Region 10 with a student population of 43 students.

Facilitated by GEA’s engineers, a solar photovoltaic system comprising of a 140 Watts solar panel, 10 Amps charge controller, a 200 Amp-Hour battery and a 600 Watts pure sinewave inverter was installed at the school. Two switch socket outlets, providing 120 VAC, and 4 X 10 watts LED lamps were installed at strategic locations at the school, with one of the lamps providing security lighting.

According to the Head Teacher, Miss Thompson, the school never had electricity and sessions would be interrupted on rainy days. The students were also put at a disadvantage since the Ministry of Education’s Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) program could not be facilitated. The PV system installed by GEA is expected to produce 208 kWh of energy annually. The lamps are expected to consume 117 kWh of energy annually and the remaining energy will supply the IRI equipment and a laptop computer.

Secondly, the Abrams Creek Primary School with a population of 57 students and located next to the Warapana River in Pomeroon-Supenaam, Region 2 received a solar system containing similar provisions.

The system is expected to produce 213 kWh of energy annually while the lamps are expected to consume 88 kWh of energy annually if operated for 8 hours per day for 365 days. The remaining energy will supply the IRI equipment, a television set and a laptop computer.

The Dredge Creek Primary School also located in Pomeroon-Supenaam, Region 2, with a population of approximately 90 students saw the installation of similar amenities. The school which is accessed mainly by river transport has never had electricity.

The system is expected to produce 426 kWh of energy annually. The lamps are expected to consume 88 kWh of energy annually if operated for 8 hours per day for 365 days, and the remaining energy will supply the IRI equipment, including a television set, two small fans and a desktop computer with a small printer.

The final beneficiary was the Hackney Primary School also located in Region 2 and is only accessible by river transport via the Pomeroon River.

Unlike the other schools however, Hackney Primary, through the installation of a 500 Watts solar system, had electricity from 2008-2011. However, from 2011 to the point of GEA’s intervention in 2016 the school was without electricity as the solar system had become defunct.

According to the Head Teacher, Miss Verna Jack, the batteries were the first components that were damaged, followed by the charge controller due to a short circuit of the electric cables.

GEA’s Engineers tested the 2,500 watts inverter that was part of the installation and found it to be inoperable. The Engineers replaced the damaged components with a 40 Amps charge controller, 4 X 200 Amp-Hour batteries and a 2,000 Watts pure sinewave inverter. Three switch socket outlets and 2 X 10 watts LED lamps were installed at strategic locations at the school, with one of the lamps providing security lighting. The 4 X 20 watts existing lamps at the school were made operational.

The system is expected to produce 723 kWh of energy annually and will benefit the one hundred and two (102) student population of the school by powering a refrigerator and providing energy to the lamps and IRI program equipment.

The total cost of the project was $2M.

GEA’s Engineer Mr. Leon DeSouza said that “a total of 300 students and teachers combined will benefit from the installations and…all installations were done in accordance with the National Electric Code. Additionally, teachers at each school were trained to operate and monitor the systems”.

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