Off-grid photovoltaic system for rural villages in Rwanda

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The Engineers Without Borders group at KTH Stockholm aims to develop a small-scale off-grid photovoltaic system prototype, designed to power the energy demands of rural village households in Rwanda. Our team develops an own design fulfilling the requirements of mobility, durability, simplicity and low cost. To ensure the safe usage and maintenance of the system a construction and maintenance manual for the end-users of our system will be compiled.

We take a steady electrical supply for granted, but daily life without electricity is the reality of millions of people in developing countries such as Rwanda. Though electricity does not count as one of the human basic needs itself, it tremendously affects the quality of life, especially with regard to health, education and social life. Developing countries lack the financial support and the infrastructure to ensure the needs of their people for electricity. The solution lies within the sun and the possibility to harness its power through photovoltaic cells, especially in remote rural areas. Our project aims to build a sustainable, low-cost and easy-to-use mobile solar system fulfilling the basic needs of villagers in Rwanda. The mobility of the system has the advantage that it can be deployed much easier to the people in need and also in case of relocation can be taken along. To match the requirements our team develops its own design to keep the system light-weight but functional enough to power an average household. Our goal is also to teach local people to correctly operate and maintain the system. This project is run by students of various study backgrounds from KTH Stockholm. It gives the opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills to solve critical problems of energy supply. The design of the solar system is crucial to the successful implementation of the project in Rwanda and demands electrical, mechanical and design expertise. After the design a prototype will be constructed at KTH for testing purposes before deploying it in the field. As a follow-up a team of students will then install a system in a rural village in Rwanda in cooperation with a local NGO (Rwanda Village Concept Project). This will also involve providing an educational workshop on how to operate and maintain the system. Sustainability is an important key factor to ensure that the people understand and fully integrate the technology into their daily life. If you would like to know more about our project you are welcome to ask us any questions and we would be very happy to hear from you. Find us also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1091172927588877/?ref=bookmarks