Hybrid Solar Solutions in Remote Villages of Malawi, Africa
For the last seven years, a team from Su-Kam has been quietly at work in the African nation of Malawi, one of the most under-developed regions of the world. The team has successfully installed electricity powered by wind and solar energy for the first time for the inhabitants of five remote villages: Chigundu, Mdayaka, Eluyumi, Kumbande and Kadzuwa.
The team observed and analysed the conditions in the villages and decided on a hybrid system - a combination of solar and wind energy. The wind speeds in these villages were found to be around 5 metres per second, adequate to generate electricity. Sunshine is also in abundance. The usage of the windmills succeeded in bringing down both the costs of the project and the space requirements of the installations.
Windmills generate electricity through the conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy. The wind rotates the blades of the windmill. Its shaft is connected to an inverter, which converts the mechanical movement of the blades to electricity.
In each village, Su-Kam has installed 3 wind generators of 4.2 kW each, along with solar photovoltaic modules of 24 V / 150 W, generating 7.5 kW. All told, the systems are generating 20.1 kW for around 150 households in each village.