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Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Clean energy and clean drinking water for The Gambia

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What The Gambia has to offer in abundance is sunshine. This precious energy from the sun can be harvested, converted into electricity, and then stored in a powerhouse. That is what VoltaViewAfrica.org is doing in The Gambia: implementing regenerative energy technologies developed in Germany by the renowned research institution Fraunhofer HHI, manufacturing powerhouse plants by their start-up companies VoltaView GmbH and VoltaMove GmbH, and finally installing them in The Gambia. The main focus of this project is on supplying the rural population with clean energy and clean drinking water. The powerhouse plant is based on a modular block-building concepts: consisting of two container modules, one for electricity (generated by a 7.5 kWp photovoltaic panel system) and the other for drinking water production (treated according to the WHO standard). The electricity is stored in 48-volt lithium-ion batteries and packed into robust and portable battery boxes with a 4.8-kWh storage capacity. Thanks to the portable battery boxes called VoltaMove2Go power packs, electricity can be brought directly to the consumer. The power grid and diesel generators of yesterday are replaced by the brand new and easy-to-use VoltaViewAfrica powerhouse and the VoltaMove2Go power packs. The first VoltaViewAfrica Powerhouse plant will be inaugurated in Balingho on 21 June at noon. Use cases for the VoltaMove2Go power packs will be demonstrated at the river port. A fishing boat with an electric outboard engine is the simplest example of the profitability of an electric vehicle—completely emission-free and with the sun as the only energy source. The NGO Bena-Bena is presenting its electric tricycle, made out of scrap yard pieces and operated by VoltaMove2Go power packs. The power pack can also be used as a portable generator. With a 230 V AC household socket, continuous power of 1.5 kW can be supplied for a fish freezer, for hand crafting power, or for a sewing workshop. Further VoltaViewAfrica Powerhouses in rural areas of The Gambia will follow. Together with the Gambian company Sub-Sahara United Vehicles Ltd., 10 charging stations with 50 swappable batteries will be installed in The Gambia within the next 12 months.

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