BENEFITING: Imagine Scholar Inc
Rodger Chinhangue is a student enrolled in Imagine Scholar's progressive, student-driven education program. He has initiated a project to outfit the school with solar panels to improve energy efficiency, promote energy and environmental sustainability, and protect Imagine Scholar from South Africa's current energy crisis.
Secured materials (donated by Jasco Traing):
- 2kw Victron Tie Grid inverter (valued at US $1,400)
- Related mounting structures
Outstanding materials (minimum amounts available from Valsa):
- Nine 60-cell Trina Solar Panels - 260W (US $1,900)
- Mounting structure for 9 panels for IBR/Corrugated roof (incl crimper for IBR) (US $330)
- 100 meters of DC cable-6mm (US $100)
- 5 MC4 connectors-sets (male and female) (US $17)
- DC combiner box (US $300)
- Consumables-UV Flexi spring-2m, screws, trunking, cable ties (US $35)
- 10 meters of Earth cable-16mm (US $30)
- Transportation of material to the site (US $150)
The total cost of this project is US $2,862
We have an east and west facing roof at Imagine Scholar. I will install 4 panels on each side and one in the middle, ensuring equal power production from both sides and during the middle of the day.
The panels will be titled 32 degrees to the north since we are in the southern hemisphere, ensuring we have an average power supply during all seasons.
This project will be supervised by Kevin Norris (Engineer, Jasco Trading)
- The system will give out 2kw per hour
- Imagine Scholar's computers and other appliances that use a sum of 500 watts per hour will be off the grid
- Total savings will be over 24kw per day
- Imagine Scholar spends over US $2,000 per year on electricity
- This project will save 75% of annual electricity costs (US $1,500)
- In five years, over US $7,500 will be saved by this project
In addition to the concrete savings, the implementation of this project will act as a learning experience for Imagine Scholar students who are interested in renewable energy and engineering. The project will also act help to educate the wider community on environmental issues, clean energy, and solar energy capabilities.
As battery technology increases, we plan to refine the system to take the school building completely off the grid.
My name is Rodger, and I have a passion for sustainable energy. When I was 5 years old, my father introduced me to a mechanic’s safety suit and taught me how to use his tools, which sparked my interest in engineering.
Today, at the age of 16, I continue to pursue my interest in working with energy. Imagine Scholar, a highly selective afterschool program in rural South Africa, enables me to explore my passions to the fullest. Imagine Scholar has exposed me to many opportunities, such as the Yale Young Global Scholars Program-Singapore and Electric Vehicle Challenge in Mpumalanga. These opportunities have broadened my worldview and helped me realize my potential. What is more, I will travel to Armenia in August and begin my International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) at United World Colleges of Dilijan.
I aspire to become an engineer. Imagine Scholar has inspired me to use my skills and knowledge about electricity to help the environment. I have noticed that our education facilities utilize a good deal of electricity, and I believe we need to cut down on electricity usage and reduce Imagine Scholar’s carbon footprint. Therefore, I chose to design a solar power system. In Nkomazi, the sun’s heat is felt year-round, whereas, wind is not as reliable, leaving me with the option to use solar renewable energy.
The Solar Panel Project
In the process of designing this project, I met with an engineer, Mr. Kevin Norris from Jasco Tradings. He shared important insights with me about how solar energy works. I also visited renewable energy exhibitions in Johannesburg for more information. Equipped with expert advice, I negotiated with Valsa, an electrical supply company in Johannesburg, to supply Imagine Scholar with the minimum quantities of solar panels.
Everything is in place for me to get started, but I need your support for the next phase of my project. I need to purchase the materials to install a solar powered system at Imagine Scholar. Fortunately, these materials are readily available in South Africa, and your generous donations help me acquire what is needed.
The installation of this project from start to finish will be done with my peers at Imagine Scholar because I believe it is a valuable opportunity for us to learn about alternative energy, and at the same time spread awareness about renewable energy in Nkomazi.
I hope you’ll help us contribute toward the use of sustainable energy worldwide, and provide my fellow scholars and I with a new learning opportunity to play our part in making our world a better, and more environment-friendly, place. I am grateful for your support!
Energy Crisis in South Africa
South Africa is currently in the midst of an economically challenging energy crisis due to a lack of investment and a shortage of generating capacity (weforum.org).
The crisis has given way to scheduled and unscheduled rolling black-outs (load shedding). Energy instability causes a variety of significant quality of life issues, particularly in rural South Africa.
Imagine Scholar's solar panel project will help protect the school from energy insecurity and improve our long term sustainability efforts in our rural community.
Please feel free to reach out to me personally with any questions regarding my project: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further questions on Imagine Scholar please contact Cait: email@example.com
Photo by: http://www.backwoodssolar.com