Chintheche Solar Schools
In October 2013 we received an inquiry from an organisation based in Chintheche, about 150 km north of Nkhotakota. The project lasted from November 2013 to January 2014. During that time period, the project was planned and we travelled to the site and installed solar power at four schools and five staff houses. The assignment was given by the Grønn-Hagen Bjørke Malawi foundation, which builds schools in the area.
NEW INSTALLATION IN ONE SCHOOL BLOCK AND ONE STAFF HOUSE
At Chicumba, one school block already had solar power installed. What we did was to install two small Barefoot Power kits at 15W each. The panels supply two 28Ah batteries. This is enough to supply a full school block consisting of two classrooms offices for the school staff. In addition, the staff house was supplied with two Barefoot Power 5W4L kits. These supply a total of eight lights and two outlets for cell phone charging.
REFURBISHMENT AND REPLACEMENT
Chimbere is a Full Primary School. The school already had solar panels and electricity installed, but the panels were stolens and the equipment was in a sorry state when we arrived. The batteries were broken, and if they weren't, they would still have been feeding into a short circuit. After re-wiring and replacing the batteries and replacing the current panels and charge controllers with new ones, there was still darkness at the school.
A dead ant in one of the switches broke the circuit and was the last obstacle to overcome. Finally, after removing this tiny challenge, lights again shone from the ceiling at Chimbere. The picture is from the staff house, where we also had to replace the battery and some light bulbs.
NEW INSTALLATION IN ONE SCHOOL BLOCK AND THREE STAFF HOUSES
Chipaika had no electricity installed before we arrived. When we left, two classrooms, three staff houses and the teachers' offices all had solar powered lights installed, and the teachers and their families could charge their cell phones.
All of the equipment was provided by Barefoot Power.
15W LIGHTS UP A CLASSROOM AND THE TEACHERS' OFFICES
At Bungano Community Day Secondary School they are waiting for grid connection. While they are waiting for this, we installed a small 15W system, providing enough power to light up four LED light tubes and some SMD LED lights in the teachers'' office, so at least, they are not waiting in the dark.