Hybrid Solar/Wind plant in Madagascar

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Courtesy of Greenshine New Energy LLC

Distinguished among the winners of the Sunidarity initiative, the World Energy Foundation announced Thursday that it had installed in the extreme south of Madagascar a concentration photovoltaic equipment (CPV) provided by Soitec, one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of global CPV systems.

Called Plug & Sun, this equipment allows an autonomous solar-electric generation in areas without access to the electricity grid areas.

The rural electrification project presented by the Energy Foundation for World wowed the judges of Sunidarity by its originality and relevance to the Malagasy context. To carry out the Foundation was endowed with a Plug & Sun equipment, as well as other winners Sunidarity.

Installed on the common Ambondro, near Ambovombe, this equipment consists of two trackers with a total capacity of 2.28 kWp and whose production can reach 12 kWh per day. By coupling the Plug & Sun trackers electric mini network consisting of a set of batteries and two wind turbines already installed on site in 2010, the World Energy Foundation wanted to provide additional power and continuity of electricity production the whole village. This achievement is a great novelty for decentralized rural electrification operation.

Soitec technician went on site to assemble trackers Plug & Sun and connect the device to the existing system. He also trained the local technical staff for maintenance and repair.

With this operation, the World Energy Foundation and Soitec want to fight poverty, with a technical solution for the energy and social context of the Malagasy community. Access to local and renewable energy can improve living conditions of rural populations (domestic comfort, health and education) and the development of economic activities that generate income, without using fossil fuels.

“The installation of a wind / solar hybrid system is an important first step. Within a year, we will have a return sufficient experience to appreciate the operation of the installation. This will allow us to consider using generators Plug & Sun for 8 new Malagasy villages that our Foundation has already identified' said Yves Maigne, director of the World Energy Foundation.

Focus on concentrator photovoltaic (CPV)

Soitec's CPV technology uses triple-junction cells, mounted on support plates of glass. With Fresnel lenses ( made from silicon on glass) , the sunlight is concentrated 500 times before reaching the cells , which then convert into electricity. A metal frame assembles these two glass plates to form extremely robust modules, durable and resistant. By combining several modules on biaxial trackers movement (based on a proprietary algorithm that automatically optimize their position in relation to the path of the sun), Soitec ensures optimal energy production throughout the day.

The Plug & Sun equipment has been designed to meet the energy needs of remote sites. This device consists of two to three trackers connected to a management system of the energy and to a battery pack. Each tracker consists of 12 CPV modules (total area: 4.2 m2) with a peak power of 1.14 kW. With batteries, the electricity generated by the day trackers is stored and can supply to demand all kinds of electrical appliances. Installing the Plug & Sun only takes a few hours, allowing rapid deployment.

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