Africa, the sun returned

Publish date 08-01-2023

by Mauro Palombo

A technical solution must guarantee the functionality for which it is intended and, at the same time, create new possibilities for a supportive relationship between people. To generate change, a better quality of life.

This is the spirit of the installation, at the agricultural-handicraft center of the parish of Mkiu in Tanzania, of the new photovoltaic system, which recovers and makes available to the community the only abundant, and above all affordable, source of energy of the poor world.
The solutions adopted, with innovative elements, respond to the complexities of the users to be supplied. The photovoltaic field is made up of 48 panels, for a total of about 12 kWp, with 3 inverters, each, capable of managing up to 4kw max output, synchronized with each other with a final three-phase output. Complete, a set of 12 lithium batteries, an element of particular efficiency.

Size of the plant, good conditions of purchase of the materials, and the possibility of having the new panels free of charge from companies that take care of the life tests, suggested sending his panels from Italy components. The realization required a long commitment over time: from the technical design, to the collection of the necessary resources, up to getting the materials to their destination. In recent weeks, the journey of two very expert technical friends who, with inspiration and even more perspiration, have taken care of the installation - including the laying of a few km of wiring - and the start-up; supported step by step by local technicians – for them a great specialist training opportunity – who will then contribute to the continuity of the service.

The plant is from now on, a great contribution to the sustainability of all that has been achieved so far together with the parish of Mkiu. Steps of a mature path, which is bearing truly good and abundant fruit for all the people of the area.
The largest user is the joinery and carpentry workshop, which will now be able to further expand its volume of activity, thus giving stable work to various young people. Then there is the parish, its pastoral care, and its services; asylum, the agricultural center which is work and above all training, community gardens and orchards, and then the diffusion of new opportunities for food security and income in families. All lived in the responsibility of people for the outcome of their work, but also in the unity of initiatives to promote together the fruits of so much effort - for example, by uniting for a fairer sale.
Obviously, the plant was also designed for what it is still hoped to be able to achieve: a reception for lonely children, health services including an analysis laboratory, also in support of systematic work on cases of malnutrition.

This is not the first photovoltaic system built, and, if there are possibilities, others will certainly follow. Concrete answers, to trigger and support efforts for a dignified life for everyone. Always trying to look at the world through the eyes of the poor, to have a clearer vision.

Mauro Palombo
NP October 2022

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