Mike Wilson, CSI program manager, recently visited sites in Cameroon, Africa. He met with project managers and mini-grid operators who voiced concerns ranging from lightning strikes, that were damaging expensive equipment, to how to educate customers on how to maintain charging frequencies.
Pictured are Mike Wilson and Jude Numfor, who are standing in front of the solar generation panels which feeds into a mini-grid system in Sabongari, Cameroon (pictured on right).
A discussion on how to protect PV arrays and mini-grid hardware from lightning strikes will be discussed at the CSI workshop, pre-GHTC conference event next month (event information can be found at http://www.ieeeghtc.org/)
The mission of Village Help for South Sudan (VHSS) is to support South Sudanese rural villagers in a variety of ways. VHSS devotes nearly 100 percent of its budgets to enable local village groups to do their own development work. It enables villagers and former refugees like Mou to undertake projects and start businesses to employ South Sudanese to deliver goods and services needed by the local communities.
Mou, who came to the U.S. several years ago as a refugee from the long civil war in Sudan, is back in South Sudan where he has started his own solar energy company to deliver electricity to rural villages like Thiou, the one he fled as a child to escape the violence and destruction.
He installed a solar generation system for a village school (construction was supported by VHSS) and is working on other rural electrification projects.
Mou will train solar entrepreneurs who will create small business enterprises that are sustainable in the rural economy. Solar electricity will replace polluting sources of lights that are currently used, and will power small electrical devices such as cell phones.