Mikumi Solar Project 2015 – Some places stand out in your mind, Mikumi is one of those places. Stepping out of our van at VETA Mikumi we were met with the familiar smiling faces of the people we worked with last year. Almost immediately we were feeling welcomed and loved. This is a special place to be part of. Our reason for coming back to Mikumi is to increase the application of solar electric power. This area of Tanzania experiences sporadic electrical outages. This disrupts the students at the campus and the campus restaurant. The restaurant is a revenue generator and a training facility for the students. It also has 10 accommodation units that serves as a tourist destination. The national park is famous for its safaris.
Last year NSCC installed a solar backup electric system for the accommodation units. This year our plan is to provide solar powered well pumping for the restaurant and accommodation units. This may seem straight forward, but working with drinking water requires specialized skill sets, which were are blessed to have faculty and students as part of our team.
The first few days have been used to identify how the water system works. There are tanks, lines and a wells as part of their system. Our goal is to not only provide solar electricity to pump the water, but to also record the water usage, water levels, pump efficiency, as well as weather data. We designed a data logger to acquire, save and transmit this data back to NSCC. This data will be used by our students as a remote, almost live lab by many of our programs.
This is the start of day three, we are cleaning the tank, working with their students and have provide wireless Internet to the restaurant area.
We toured the hospital nearby where we collected water samples to test. We borrowed their incubator and are testing troubleshooting it for a problem they advised us of.
The sun was hiding the past couple of days with lots of rain, but today by 9am we were recording energy levels of 90%. This will be a “good solar day”.
"Solar" Gord Wilkie
Electrical Engineering Technology Faculty
NSCC Waterfront Campus