WHAT IS A MINI-GRID
A mini-grid is an electricity distribution network supplying power to a number of houses and businesses often in a rural community which is not connected to a conventional utility grid. It involves small to medium scale electricity generation which typically produces power from renewable sources such as solar PV.
CHALLENGES OF IMPLEMENTING A MINI-GRID
Project developers often face challenges when rolling out mini-grids in rural locations. Besides the developer's core responsibility of idenifying the right site and defining the correct business model, a number of operational challenges need to be overcome.
These challenges often include vague system design assumptions, complex equipment choices, supply chain hurdles, logistics difficulties, tight deadlines, and budget constrainst.
SUSTAINSOLAR MINI-GRID SOLUTION
SustainSolar partners with mini-grid developers to efficiently roll-out high quality, containerised, modular, pre-installed solar systems equipped with world class solar PV modules and electronics, including lithium-ion batteries - ensuring they meet their project specifications, on time, and within budget.
With Execution Excellence and Logistics Optimization we take care of our clients' challenges in implementing remote power generation units. Getting our equipment safely transported and quickly installed on site is our specialty despite challenging terrain and logistical hurdles.
Our systems come standard with remote monitoring capabilities which allow for instant and constant access to the 'brains' of the generation unit ensuring control and visibility of the system at all times. This means, switching the system off or on is as easy as touching a button on your phone.
The turnkey containerised solution arrives with all equipment including tools and manuals to easily set-up the pre-configured system and produced electricity within a matter of days.
Remote monitoring and control of the solar system for security, system management and maintenance come standard and provide visibility of the installation no matter where it is.
1. solar Mounting Structure
Light-weight, quick and easy mounting structure with integrated mounting points on top of the container, and optimized ground ballasting in combination with larger open ground mounted solar arrays are available.
2. sustainsolar Container
Rugged and insulated shipping containers safely package the power electronics, batteries and solar equipment for maximized mobility, protection and durability of the turnkey solar generator.
3. Power Distribution
Grid quality alternating current carried in distribution networks through wires on poles is delivered into houses and businesses ensuring national grid codes and safety regulations.
4. Smart Metering
Individual electricity consumption is measured and controlled by smart prepaid meters which offer the mini-grid owner reliable revenue generation and users full transparency of their energy usage.
CASE STUDY: MALAWI
The mini-grid was part of a larger project sponsored by Peachtree Church, of Atlanta Georgia, USA, where a girls’ dormitory was added to the school as a solution aimed at increasing access to education by making class attendance safer and easier for young women.
The containerised solar system has an initial PV capacity of 6 kWp and 10 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage, with future expansion capability built into the system design allowing the power supply to grow with demand.
This is the first mini-grid in Malawi using market leading technology from Tesvolt batteries and SMA inverters, both German manufacturers.
The containerised solar system has an initial PV capacity of 6 kWp and 10 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage.
The rapid-deployment mounting structure, which is adjustable for uneven ground levels and requires no foundation, yet is built to withstand the wind pattern of the region, took only a day to assemble without the use of special or motorised tools.
Within three days of the team’s arrival the generation unit was producing electricity, thanks to its pre-configuration and turnkey design.
The SUSTAIN COMPACT™ took four weeks to reach Sokola, transported by truck from Cape Town across Zimbabwe and Mozambique to Northern Malawi.
CUSTOMISE YOUR MINI-GRID
We customise our products to match your requirements. Whether you need only one SUSTAIN COMPACT™ or a string of containers, our modular, turnkey solar solutions will perfectly meet your need.
No matter how remote or demanding your project location.
A modular and mobile solar generator including the innovative retractable accordion-style EXOrac engineered by Swiss PWRstation, an industrial-class racking system that offers ultra-rapid activation - within minutes. Extremely flexible and scalable, from 5 kWp to megawatt size, the Sustain Flex™ is suitable to a wide range of applications.
All solar modules, structures, batteries, and electronics are pre-installed and packed inside a standard ISO 20 ft shipping container for safe and easy transport. Equipped with up to 30 kWp and 100 kWh of storage, the Sustain Compact™ includes all equipment, tools, ladder, and installation manual for turnkey installation.
Servicing larger power requirements, packaged in one or more 40 ft shipping containers, the Sustain Extended™ offers bespoke and modular configurations. Housing electronics for up to hundreds of kilowatts and battery storage in the megawatt hour range, it is ideal for larger mini-grids and commercial hybrid systems.