Eauxwell Nigeria Limited, established in 1987, is the leading water and renewable energy-engineering firm in Nigeria. Eauxwell is committed to the growth of the alternative power sector in Nigeria through the use of innovative products and concepts. The company specialises in product sales, installation and project services in the field of solar street lighting, solar water pumping, rooftop and ground mounted off-grid systems, as well as hybrid and backup power supply systems.
The Federal Government of Nigeria commenced a pilot scheme to provide rural areas in various geopolitical zones with access to electricity in order to increase rural electricity penetration. Decentralised systems were preferred due to difficult terrain and high costs associated with grid extension. In some cases, communities are only accessible by waterways. The major requirement of electricity by most communities is for lighting purposes.
Due to the decentralised and remote nature of the locations, the obvious choice was to design mini-grids powered by solar or wind energy. Solar photovoltaic was preferred due to its minimal maintenance requirement during the life cycle of the project.
Installations of mini-grids using 90nos SolarWorld SW140 poly, 1x SMA Sunny Island SI5048, 48x Hoppecke OpzS solar power 1220. Upon completion, two technicians were trained on basic maintenance operations. Transmission lines were installed along 800m of the community with each of the 40 transmission poles holding a 20W LED street lamp. Each of the 120 households was provided with four to five 7W LED bulbs.
The project was fully financed by the Federal Government of Nigeria and executed within a period of four weeks in technical partnership with SolarWorld Africa. End users are not required to pay for any costs but need to provide land and security for the installations.
All the installations benefitted over 700 residential households. Some of the sites led to the setup of small clinics. The success has led to plans for 50kWp systems based upon similar applications. Incorporation of a billing system is being discussed for future installations.