PV replaces diesel for telecoms plants in Burkina Faso.

11 March 2010 - Germany-based off-grid renewables company Phaesun is completing construction of ten solar power plants in Koudougou region in Burkina Faso, with its partner, Ikratos Africa, based in Burkina Faso’s capitol city of Ouagadougou. The solar modules will produce electricity for telecommunications plants.
 
Each system consists of 108 monocrystalline solar modules from ET Solar, batteries from Hoppecke and charge controllers, which were developed especially for telecommunication systems and are particularly suitable for hot regions. Each system has a total output of 9.2 kW.
 
The contracting party is the telecommunications company Telecel Faso, which has been able to cover 75% of the network with diesel-powered telecommunications plants so far. ‘Thanks to every solar plant, Telecel saves more than €30,000, compared to the diesel-driven plants, and around 184 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually,’ explains Phaesun’s Amar Chikha, who is helping to build the plants.
 
The high acquisition costs of the PV modules will have paid for themselves after two to three years, says the company, since maintenance and diesel supply are time-consuming and expensive due to long transportation distances. The solar plants are, in contrast, equipped with a remote monitoring system and are nearly maintenance free.
 
The first one went on line in February. During the five-day installation, Phaesun trained around 30 engineers, technicians and installers from Telecel Faso and Ikratos Africa on location. ‘For large projects we always install the first plant ourselves according to our quality standards and then give our know-how to our partners on location,’ says Chikha. Further solar plants have already been planned, as Telecel Faso plans to increase the network coverage to 100% as well as to replace all of the previously installed diesel generators with solar plants.
 

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