The Tsumkwe Energy hybrid system was commissioned in early August 2011. This state-of-the art solar diesel system, with a capacity of 200 kWp solar and 300 kW diesel, is the largest of its kind in Africa, feeding its electricity into a mini-grid supplying the entire settlement of Tsumkwe.
If proven technically robust, the hybrid system will provide a feasible strategy towards rural off-grid electrification in Namibia and other developing countries. A training programme for technical staff from key stakeholders was conducted in mid August. While a number of technical intricacies still need to be resolved, the high degree of modularity was appreciated by the trainees, since it implies that hybrid systems can be reduced or expanded in size to cater for any electricity demand.
The hybrid system now provides 24 hours of electricity, 7 days a week, at 50% of the cost of the previous system, which only used diesel and only operated for 12 hours per day.
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