As part of the school electrification program of the Kenyan Rural Electrification Authority, Schneider Electric developed an off-grid solar power solution customized to primary schools needs.
Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, and the Rural Electrification Authority of Kenya have electrified 128 rural schools throughout Kenya in 2015. It represents more than 45,000 primary schools pupils that now have access to energy for their education needs.
Lack of electricity in Africa remains one of the biggest barriers to the region’s development and prosperity, and continues to trap millions of people in extreme poverty. With a third of all primary schools lacking any access to electricity, that means that 90 million students are left being educated from places that have no power.
In Kenya, where 77 percent of the 44 million inhabitants have no access to electricity, the Government entrusted the Rural Electrification Authority with the responsibility of ensuring that all public primary schools in the country are connected to electricity supply in readiness for the implementation of a global laptop program. In 2015, Schneider Electric has been selected as technical partner to electrify 128 schools in the year.
“The challenge was to imagine a solution customized to primary schools needs in Kenya in less than a few months. Thanks to our internal engineering capabilities, our wide network of local entrepreneurs in Kenya, and our strong collaboration with the REA, we’ve developed an off-grid solar power back-up easy-to-install and maintain solution that provides power for light, but also for computers. Now, each school benefiting from this solution can connect 30 computers, 34 lamps, 1 printer and 15 plugs”, said Fola Esan, President at Schneider Electric Kenya.
Schneider Electric Kenya designed a high featured off-grid PV solution. This solution comprises 2PV inverters with solar charge controller. The first PV inverter is dedicated to supply energy for lighting application and the second PV inverter is for computer. These 2 PV inverters are supported by Deep Cycle Solar GEL batteries and Solar PV modules. Schneider Electric trains local entrepreneurs to install the solution and someone from each school to maintain the system and to regulate its usage.
The solution developed by Schneider Electric for this project is replicable and customizable for any similar electrification project in Africa.