Interview with Dr. Windmanadga Sawadogo from University of Augsburg. He talks about his recent trip to the EnerSHelF field sites and about processing the collected meteorological data.
You are working in WP 3.2, focusing on high-resolution meteorological forecasts for Ghana. Can you explain how your work contributes to the overall aim of the EnerSHelF project to improve and disseminate marketable PV-based energy solutions for health facilities in Ghana?
The work of the University Augsburg is to produce weather forecasts for the three pilot sites and to spread the data to different partners in the project. For this, I am working closely with Samer Chaaraoui from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), as he needs the forecasting data to improve the accuracy of his models for photovoltaic-hybrid systems. Currently, we are at the stage where everything is ready, and we are running the forecasts for the three sites every day. The collected data are kept at our servers at the KIT campus at Garmisch-Partenkirchen while we are waiting for the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) from our partner WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) to upload the data so that everyone can easily access the data.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.