All posts by Jonas Bauhof

EnerSHelF at the Client II Conference

The EnerSHelF project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Its’ funding measure “CLIENT II – International Partnerships for Sustainable Innovation” finances 64 projects that spread across 32 countries – one of them being EnerSHelF. All of them are working on solutions for climate, energy, environmental, and resource challenges that occur in the partner countries. To foster the exchange between the various projects, the second Client II conference of the funding period took place in the last week of October. It was organised as a hybrid event with project’s being able to join from anywhere in the world but also meet in person at the event’s venue “Umweltforum”, Berlin.

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Interview with the EnerSHelF project leaders

In September, Prof. Katja Bender and Prof. Stefanie Meilinger – project leaders of EnerSHelF – talked with the Bonn Sustainability Portal about the project. You can now read the English version below.

Dear Prof. Bender, dear Prof. Meilinger, you are both coordinating the project “Energy Self-Sufficiency for Health Facilities in Ghana” – EnerSHelF – at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. What are the goals of the project?

In Ghana, like in many developing countries and emerging market economies, blackouts are a common phenomenon. This is critical – especially for health facilities – as the care for patients relies on a reliable energy supply. Without electricity, operations and other procedures are not possible during the night, important instruments are malfunctioning, or the cooling circle of life-saving vaccines and medications are disrupted.

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Succesful data collection at 200 health facilities

Over the course of this summer, ten enumerators conducted the survey at 200 health facilties for the EnerSHelF project. The enumeration was led by Dr. Kennedy Alatinga and Ana Maria Perez. Read more about the data collection in the interview with Ana Maria Perez below. At the end of the interview, you find impressions by the enumerators.

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EnerSHelF at the “Erneuerbare Energien” Podcast

© Fabian Tenk: Recording of the podcast with EnergieAgentur.NRW

At the end of July, Stefanie Meilinger from H-BRS and Steven Denk from WestfalenWIND were invited by EnergieAgentur.NRW to talk about the EnerSHelF project at their podcast “Erneuerbare Energien”. It is now available on their website.

In the podcast, Stefanie Meilinger and Steven Denk introduce EnerSHelF and answer various questions about the project. The questions range from broader perspectives on why reliable energy supply is so important for health facilities up to technical specifications of the system. This includes how to plan a PV system and how to integrate different parameters that influence its size and functionality. Furthermore, they elaborate on the interdisciplinarity of the project and underline the importance of a close collaboration with local partners. Listen to the podcast below to learn more!

Constant adjustments and improvement

© Mohammed Abass: Installation of the new inverter

Mohammed Abass from our project partner WestfalenWIND travelled to Ghana to adjust and improve the PV-hybrid power system at the health facility in Kologo. 

When putting research into practice, the reality often calls for adjustment of foregone planning. Just like other initiatives, the EnerSHelF project is undergoing constant evaluation, adjustments, and improvements. In our previous article, we described the process of training local enumerators to conduct quantitative interviews at health facilities across Ghana. Here, the training week was followed by a pilot study before the main survey at 200 health facilities started in July. The test run helped to identify any necessary changes in the questionnaire and survey design.

On the engineering side of the project, the solar-hybrid systems at the health facilities of our three pilot sites need constant checks to evaluate if they are running as planned. Many adjustments can be done remotely via sensors and software, which has been set-up by our technicians and researchers. However, certain work must be done at the site.

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Health facility survey: 80% of the data collection completed

Local enumerators at work
© EnerSHEelF

Update: In July, a group of ten local enumerators started interviewing 200 health facilities all over Ghana. Prior to the start of the survey, they have been trained by Ana Maria Pérez from Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and Kennedy Alatinga from SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies in Wa. After an intensive training week and a test run of the survey in June, the data collection is well on track. Until now, around 80% of the health facilities have been interviewed. The survey is set to be completed during the month of August.  

Doing Remote Field Research: Training of Local Enumerators

One of the health facilties included in the pilot study
© EnerSHelF

Within Work Package 1.2, the team of the EnerSHelF project analysis the factors that are determining the adoption of technologies in Ghana – specifically of Solar PVs. To do so, a line of quantitative interviews with health facility managers is conducted.

Originally, the German partners of the EnerSHelF project planned to travel to Ghana to train local enumerators for the conduct of the interviews. The training is meant to ensure consistent results across the 200 interviews spread over the country. However, due to the global pandemic, the plans had to be revised. Instead of taking the plane to Ghana, Ana Maria Pérez from Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and Kennedy Alatinga from SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies in Wa carried out the training online.

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A complete set-up of a PV-Hybrid power system at the Health-centre in Kologo, Ghana

In November 2020, our partner WestfalenWIND travelled to Ghana to install a PV-hybrid power system at Kologo, Ghana. In March 2021, Mohammed Abass returned to the health facility to finish the set-up. In this article, he illustrates the necessity, application, and management of the system.

Article & Pictures by Mohammed Abass

In Twi, one of the local languages in Ghana, dumsors are power cuts due to low voltage or high-energy demand. They happen frequently and can last for days or weeks. Dumsors impede the work progress of many companies and workplaces, especially health facilities, where electric power is needed the most. Sometimes, communities even must take turns to not overstrain the electricity grid. This is a huge problem for health centres, as they need cooling systems for their vaccines and other drugs that need to be stored at certain temperatures.

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Developing an Advisor and Planning Tool for Micro Grid Systems

https://unsplash.com/photos/b6vAiN3wYNw

In this interview, Silvan Rummeny from Cologne University of Applied Sciences highlights the development of the advisor and planning tool MiGUEL. It is an open-source-based library which is developed within the EnerSHelF project and later made available online.

You are involved in the EnerSHelF project within work package 3.3a. Can you tell us about your role in the project and the goal of your work package?

On the one hand, our role in the EnerSHelF project is to improve the knowledge of load data of Ghanaian hospitals. On the other hand, we aim to improve the implementability of micro grid projects in the Ghanaian health sector by developing an advisor and planning tool for such micro grids. The tool can be used to design and evaluate Photovoltaic (PV)-diesel-hybrid systems for Ghanaian health facilities. Our goal is to provide users with suitable solutions on how to change the microgrid design and with which planning strategy they can achieve their micro grid development goals and roadmaps in the most cost-effective way. The target groups are project developers, engineering companies, and private as well as public grid operators who want to implement micro or mini grids.

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