Habari gani!! Welcome to the Microgrid Frontline Series from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. My name is Ally Mwanja, together with my teammate Petro Mwamlima and Frank Prosperous we are working to bring solar microgrids to my country where over 70% do not have access to national grid electricity. The majority here use kerosene and forest products as a main source of energy, which results in deforestation and climate changes.
Tanzania has good solar potential but only about 20MW installed, which is mostly for hospitals, religious houses, streets, and schools. Too many of us can not read at night, charge electronics, or access to the internet. Many have waited for the national grid electricity to come to them, but it didn’t come.
Energy is a vital input to economic growth but we don’t want to harm ourselves with pollution. We are lucky that with solar energy, Tanzania can grow more resilient and competitive economies that enable businesses to grow. Microgrids allow us to leapfrog over the conventional grid and build the clean energy economies of our future.
We want to share our experiences designing, marketing, and installing microgrid solutions and hope it will help others. We also hope to connect with others working with microgrids to see how we can improve.
Findings from Sofu Village in Pwani Region
To offer appropriate solutions, our team visits communities to conduct surveys and energy audits. Having an understanding on the energy situation at a local level allows us to know what really happens as far as energy is concerning.
Below are the results from the questionnaire we conducted at Sofu village Kibaha in Pwani region, one of the villages which have no access to the national grid electricity. We visited thirty households and find out that most of the residents are using kerosene lamps to light up their homes in night hours. The kerosene is bought at the shops which are far from their homes (small town like Picha ya ndege and maili mona). They are spending a lot of time each day moving to shops buying kerosene, dry cells and collecting firewood and charcoal for cooking.
[wpsm_googlemap title=”” location=”Kibaha, Pwani, Tanzania” zoom=”10″ height=”400px”]
Solar Powered Microgrid, a Real Solution!
We provide the rural households that have no access to the national grid electricity with home lighting and phone charging system by designing and installing the standalone solar power system to their household, we are also looking forward to serve different institutions like health centers, schools and local market centers.
This solution is feasible i.e. the technology is simple and require little maintenance it is also cost and time effective.
We managed to make a simple prototype and test how the idea will work out, we had a solar panel of 20Watt, battery of 18Ah, inverter, charge controller (3A), cable, switches, and socket switches for charging phone or connecting a radio and 4 dc bulb (2Watt), here was the result!
Above is a prototype showing how the idea works, for household installation, solar panel will be on the roof, battery, inverter and charge controller will be inside the house while bulbs, switches and cables will be fixed in required places depending on the house itself.
This solution has many social impact to the society, some of them are:
- Save cost of lighting (buying of kerosene)
- eliminates indoor pollution and fire accidents by eliminating kerosene lamps
- Improve health and education of the community by providing clean energy
- creation of employment opportunities
- creation of new businesses
- cut on carbon emissions to the atmosphere due to reduction of using fossil fuel.
Thank you for reading, now let’s change the world together!
Contact Ally and Dream Line Energy Directly
Ally is CoFounder of Dream Line Energy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Read full biography and more stories here