PARIS, May 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A year after it was rebuilt, the Sainte Rose de Lima community center, in the rural district of Palmary on Haiti's Central Plateau, now has a reliable power supply, as a Plug&Sun(TM) installation now provides independent solar-power generation by means of concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology. Developed by Soitec, such systems provide a solution to the problems of access to energy in rural areas with poor connections to the grid, or indeed none at all.
Instigated and backed by the charity Zanmi Lasanté Paris, the project to provide electricity to the community center won over the selection jury for the first batch of Sunidarity projects.
The Sunidarity initiative, started by Soitec, makes it possible for non-profits, NGOs and foundations to receive Plug & Sun(TM) equipment for the benefit of their local development projects.
After being shipped and installed in Palmary in June 2013, the Plug&Sun(TM) equipment was entrusted to a local technician who will provide upkeep and maintenance services. It has been supplying the villagers with electricity for several months, making it possible to recharge cell phones and light the community center in the evenings, among other things. Children are able to do their homework and villagers can meet up.
Christine Murray, President of Zanmi Lasanté Paris, explains that "It was very important to provide a long-term electricity supply to this community. This in particular meant ensuring the security of the facility. The Plug&Sun(TM) solution proved ideal, because we were able to install the solar trackers on the flat roof of premises where we could install the other components, such as the batteries and the energy management console, inside."
She continues, "The electricity now being supplied to around 200 people encourages interaction with the outside world, not only through phone calls made from this cut off area, but also through education, thanks to the lighting, the use of computers and showing films. We are currently looking into drilling a well - in this cholera-affected region, access to clean water is a priority which is now made possible by solar power."
José Bériot, Soitec's head of project development for Europe and Africa adds, "We are very proud to support this project. It fully reflects our firm belief in renewable energy generation and sustainable development. It also demonstrates that it is now possible, thanks to our concentrator photovoltaic technology, to optimize the generation of clean and renewable electricity in areas that receive a great deal of sunlight."
Focus on concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology:
Each Soitec CPV module is made of a glass plate on which triple-junction cells are mounted. Fresnel lenses, manufactured from silicone and arranged on another glass plate, concentrate light 500 times before it reaches the cells, which convert the concentrated light into electricity. A metal frame holds the two glass plates together to form highly robust, durable and resilient units. The modules are mounted on trackers, and, by means of their biaxial movement, these systems can track the course of the sun, automatically optimizing the units' position to maximize energy generation throughout the day.
The Plug&Sun(TM) system was designed to meet the energy needs of isolated sites. The system comprises two or three trackers linked to an energy management system and a set of batteries. Each tracker is made up of 12 CPV modules with peak power of 1.14 kWp. Electricity generated during the day by the trackers can be stored using the batteries, and be used to supply all kinds of electrical equipment. Plug&Sun(TM) takes only a few hours to install, so it can be deployed quickly where needed. Where electricity needs are greater, the new solar power generating system Plug&Sun+(TM) can achieve output levels of 7.3 kWp per tracker.
Sunidarity is an initiative launched by Soitec, the world leader in semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries (www.soitec.com). It supports fair and sustainable local development projects initiated by NGOs, foundations and non-profit organizations. This way, these organizations are able to enjoy independent electricity generation from the sun (Plug&Sun(TM)) and help improve living conditions for populations who remain on the margins of economic growth because of a lack of access to energy.
The projects put forward cover various areas such as education, information, communication, health or agriculture. They have to constitute a major step forward in terms of local development and respond to a previously unresolved issue by means of the use of solar energy that fits in with the applications of Plug&Sun(TM) technology.
Three other projects were selected alongside Zanmi Lasanté Paris for the first round of Sunidarity awards in December 2012. To find out more, please see www.sunidarity.com
About Zanmi Lasanté Paris:
An official non-profit organization registered in France, Zanmi Lasanté Paris was set up in Paris in 1993 to boost rural development and education in Haiti's Central Plateau region. Its name means "partners in health" in Haitian Creole. Very close to the Haitian charity Zanmi Lasanté, itself a sister organization to US-based non-profit Partners in Health (the key aim of which is to bring quality healthcare to disadvantaged rural communities), in 2000 the Zanmi Lasanté Paris team launched an action campaign prioritizing education, food security, and water and soil conservation in mountainous areas. After the 2010 earthquake, with support from the French umbrella organization for charities, the Fondation de France, it widened its scope of activities with an integrated rural development project providing additional help to smallholders and supporting the sustainable return of earthquake refugees. To find out more, see www.zanmiparis.org and "Fields of development", accessible on line.
Sunidarity/Soitec press contact:
+33 (0)6 79 49 51 43
+33 (0)6 21 13 66 72
Zanmi Lasanté Paris press contact:
+33 (0)1 47 34 94 88
Press release in PDF http://hugin.info/143589/R/1785328/612112.pdf