Rafiki Power and Trojan Battery have been named as finalists for the Intersolar Europe “The Smarter E Award” for a microgrid project in Tanzania. The remote microgrid features maintenance-free, non-spillable Trojan deep-cycle Solar AGM batteries as the energy storage solution and provides electricity to homeowners and businesses which previously never had access to power.
Rafiki Power means “friendly power” in Swahili and it is the brand name established by E.ON Off Grid Solutions for its projects in Tanzania. Rafiki Power is responsible for supplying electricity to more than 70 residents, businesses and local law enforcement in Ololosokwan, Tanzania. The remote operation of those systems is enabled by the Asset Monitoring and Management Platform (AMMP), Rafiki Power’s unique smart microgrid monitoring and management platform.
The winner of “The Smarter E Award” will be announced at Intersolar Europe in Munich at 5 p.m. on June 20, in the Smarter E Forum, Hall B2, Booth B2.570. Finalists were selected based on exceptional pioneering projects in the areas of solar, storage, energy management and clean transportation, through groundbreaking innovative projects.
The energy storage provided by the Trojan Solar AGM batteries has increased the standard of living of the residents, improved education, and enhanced overall economic development.
“Trojan is proud that our batteries have made such a significant impact on the lives of the residents and have made it possible to establish successful local businesses,” said Michael Grundke, general manager of EMEA for Trojan Battery.
Rafiki Power Project Background
As the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent, Africa is also the most “electricity poor” region in the world. To bring electricity to these regions, battery-based microgrid systems powered by solar, wind and hybrid renewable energy sources, are successfully providing reliable electricity where grid expansion is not an option.
Rafiki Power is one such organization which is establishing solar PV and battery-based microgrids, and recently installed Trojan Solar AGM batteries as the energy storage solution for a village microgrid in Ololosokwan, Tanzania. The Trojan Solar AGM batteries feature a non-spillable, maintenance-free design which is important to ensure proper maintenance, safety and eventual longevity of the battery bank. Also, Trojan Solar AGM batteries are engineered for peak performance in harsh and demanding environments of off-grid, as well as grid-connected systems that require frequent cycling.
Ololosokwan is a remote village that is difficult to access, so system reliability is one of the key aspects of successful microgrids as operations and maintenance is costly. To achieve the highest level of performance and reliability, Rafiki Power has developed AMMP for management of off-grid systems. It is providing monitoring, controlling and system alerting for solar PV, battery, and smart meters.
“Overall, the standard of living in the village has improved significantly now that customers can light their homes and businesses can power their operations,” said Hendrik Broering, asset operations and engineering for Rafiki Power and developer of AMMP. “The energy storage provided by Trojan batteries, as a building block of our smart microgrid, enhances the village’s overall economic development and improves education as children can now study in the evening.”
Business Success Story -- Maasai Honey
One of the prominent businesses in Ololosokwan, is Maasai Honey which was established to provide an opportunity for the women in the village to create a business which they manage and profit from. The co-op is a beekeeping project that focuses on teaching the local Maasai women how to harvest honey and provides them with a sustainable income. The implementation of the microgrid by Rafiki Power, enables Maasai Honey to now access consistent electricity to power its business operations, such as lighting and computers. Future plans include integrating electricity with the honey processing operation to enhance and expand honey production.