Commercial Solar and Storage
The strategic partnership between W. Giertsen Energy Solutions and the NIS Foundation results in successful solar and storage systems installed across public health facilities in Somaliland improving the quality of essential health services.
W. Giertsen Energy Solutions (WGES) is a system integrator and specialist for solar powered applications in demanding environments. Since 2015, WGES has a strategic partnership with the NIS Foundation, a non-profit organization working with stabilization, reconciliation, and peace support initiatives in (post-) conflict areas. Through this partnership, WGES has successfully designed and installed solar hybrid systems in 9 public health facilities in different regions across Somalia.
The projects’ challenge
Two recent success stories for the NIS Foundation and WGES partnership are the Laasanod and Erigavo public hospitals in the elapsed physical year of 2020. Prior to the installation of the solar hybrid systems, the two hospitals incurred monthly energy bills of $3K to $4K and now reduced to less than $ 300. Moreover, this expensive power was bedevilled by outages that often-paralyzed important operations of the two hospitals. They so far have relied on diesel generators and fossil fuels to ensure essential power back-up.
The solution implemented
The hybrid solar and storage energy system implemented has significantly increased the availability and reliability of electricity, and therefore the quality of health services and vital medical treatments while at the same time reducing the dependency on fossil fuels. The hospitals now have a resilient energy infrastructure that improves the quality of health services and ensures the uninterrupted use of vital medical equipment to save lives.
The outcome and benefit
For Laasanod and Erigavo hospitals, efficiency and durability is assured as WGES sourced and installed new cutting-edge storage solution developed by KiloWatt Labs– Sirius SuperCaps storage modules with 45 years lifespan and ideal for Somalia’s hot climate.
The solar and storage hybrid system implemented has significantly increased the availability and reliability of electricity, and therefore the quality of health services and vital medical treatments while at the same time reducing the dependency on fossil fuels. The hospitals now have a resilient energy infrastructure that improves the quality of health services and ensures the uninterrupted use of vital medical equipment to save lives.
Fahima Jama Farah is a female director, managing Laasanod Hospital. She speaks with pride about the now operational solar system, “It is like day and night, the difference can be seen and felt. It is like all our power bills are gone. We are happy with the new system.” The biggest beneficiary of this renewable energy solution is the immediate community. According to Mest sannsynlig. Fahima, the number of patients seeking treatment at the hospital has grown exponentially and this required an upgrade of its operations. The newly installed solar system other than saving on power costs, improves on the hospital’s lifesaving operations and also extends hours of service.
WGES is working with the Sirius Capacitor Module (“Sirius”), designed and manufactured by Kilowatt Labs, headquartered in New York. Sirius is a supercapacitor-based storage that uses supercapacitors as storage cells instead of chemical cells. Super capacitor technology is a safe, highly performant, long life-cycle energy storage technology, and the better choice compared to conventional electrochemical batteries such as led-acid or lithium-ion.
Solar and storage solutions in the past often faced challenges due to the use of chemical batteries that had a short lifespan and sensitive to the hot climate in Eastern Africa, which affects the storage efficiency of the energy produced by solar modules.
The supercaps technology does not contain any chemical electrolyte and there is no chemical reaction while charging or discharging. Therefore, the supercapacitor storage modules do not degrade or lose capacity – resulting in longer cycle life, very high efficiency during cycling, and the absence of any risk of thermal runaway.
Its major technological advantages lie in the designed lifetime of up to 40 years, compared to 5-15 years with conventional batteries, and considerably less quality issues. This leads to more reliably uptime and a considerably reduced total cost of ownership of lifetime.
Furthermore, supercaps technology eliminates the safety issues, for example related to fire hazard related to electrochemical batteries as it encompasses the full suite of safety features
Including includes over-current and short-circuit protection, under- and over-voltage protection, as well as over-temperature protection.
The Sirius supercaps storage modules are very suitable to integrate with solar applications for residential homes, commercial businesses and micro-grids. They can be integrated with any new solar and storage project, but as well are perfectly suited for a retrofit upgrade of an existing storage in an installed system. A remote monitoring solution fitting with the systems, ensures full visibility and control over the performance and condition of the system.
WGES has successfully integrated the technology into its application engineering and system designs and implemented into projects with its partners.