Save the Children Sierra Leone's Country Office (SL-CO) has recently made a remarkable progress in embracing green energy. As part of Save the Children Global Construction Priorities for 2023, the SL-CO has taken a significant step towards climate change adaptation by integrating green energy practices. Thanks to an enabling management and the expertise of its in-house engineers, the Country Office introduced targeted initiatives including:
Installation of solar panels with integrated remote monitoring: A solar energy technical team monitors the systems remotely through a solar energy app, allowing them to promptly identify and address any issues that may arise.
Earthing System Installation: An earthing system has been installed to protect the solar system components from surges caused by lightning discharge.
Do's and Don'ts Signs: Informative signs have been placed to guide users on how to operate the system properly, ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.
Staff Training: SL-CO has conducted training sessions for staff members and security personnel to familiarize them with the solar energy systems and educate them on their efficient use.
Solar Panels design
Through careful planning and execution, SL-CO has successfully transitioned towards green energy, serving as an exemplary model for other organizations and making a positive impact on the environment. The entire process involved three stages:
- Solar energy needs assessment
- Solar energy design
SL-CO relied on their in-house engineers, who meticulously calculated the energy requirements and designed the solar systems, accordingly, taking into account factors such as the number of panels and the direction of the sun to optimize energy output. The new design allows to support the daily energy consumption of the field offices in Waterloo, Kailahun, and Pujehun, as well as one guesthouse in Kailahun. Furthermore, it ensures maximum efficiency of the system during the two peak seasons (rainy, dry).
- Reliable Energy Source: Sierra Leone faces the challenge of constant availability of electricity, which often hampers the operations. By installing solar energy systems, SL-CO now has a more reliable source of energy for day-to-day activities, reducing the dependence on generators.
- Uninterruptible Energy Supply: Fuel scarcity is a common issue in the country, frequently causing disruptions. However, with the solar energy systems in place, SL-CO's offices can enjoy uninterrupted energy supply, even during fuel shortages.
- Environmental and Health Benefits: By using green energy, SL-CO is actively contributing to the reduction of pollutants that harm public health and the environment. This sustainable approach aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and create a greener future.
- Cost Savings: In addition to the environmental advantages, operating the solar energy systems incurs lower maintenance costs compared to running generators. This cost-effectiveness further enhances SL-CO's ability to allocate resources to other critical areas.
The project design phase allowed to identify best practices to help users maximize the benefits of the system, ensure their safety, and prolong the lifespan of the installation: the information provided is not a substitute for technical support but serves as a useful reference for users willing to start the solar journey!