Global Solace has developed turnkey solar electric systems for rural schools and health clinics which typically include internet access and computer networks. The GSI solution uses low power LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, and the latest low power networked computers to minimize the amount of solar energy that is required and thus to minimize the cost of the system.
GSI has a solar powered mini-grid solution for situations where several buildings in a local area or a small village need to be electrified. The systems are easily expandable as the requirements increase over time and integrate solar energy, hydropower, wind, and diesel generators as energy sources.
GSI has a solution for single family houses or small businesses called the Solar Home System or SHS. This smallest of solar power systems consists of a solar module, battery, controller, and appliances and is designed to be inexpensive and readily available to individuals. GSI is working with partner organizations to set up micro-financing for the installation of these systems at a cost that is comparable to the current expense for kerosene, candles, and other light sources. GSI wants to help establish local businesses to install and maintain the SHS. Of course, cell phone charging is included!
Upon visiting the site and documenting the physical buildings and electrical requirements, GSI uses the modeling system HOMER from the US Department of Energy to size the solar modules, electronic inverters, and battery banks based upon the expected electrical load by hour of the day. The HOMER modeling system also determines the optimal use of generators and other power sources when they are available. All GSI systems are designed with the knowledge that the equipment will be in use for 25 years if operated properly. GSI guarantees proper operation by providing Operation and Maintenance services and partnering with local solar installers and community groups.
Turnkey refers to GSI providing all of the services required to set up a functioning system, including an introductory visit to evaluate the proposed site and assure local buy-in to the project, we perform the design, procurement, transportation, construction, commissioning, and maintenance. Your organization is mainly responsible for project financing but will be assisting GSI at each step to maximize acceptance and minimize costs.
The strength of the GSI approach is the use of Open Source computer software to run on the networked computers which is being developed around the world. Installation and training of the application software for the schools and clinics is an ongoing process of development which is managed by GSI with partner organizations.
GSI has developed a unique “power station”, a piece of furniture to house all of the power electronics and computer network equipment. During our first installation in Haiti, our installation plans fell apart literally and immediately as the first cement cinder block that we drilled into crumbled. After making the best of a bad situation, we came home and designed a desk like structure with walls and shelves into which all of the components are securely attached. Site infrastructure issues are solved.
GSI offers both DC and AC power systems. The DC system is for smaller schools and health clinics which may be limited to a few buildings. For larger systems and where the power must be provided to many buildings spread over a larger area, AC power is used.
The benefits of DC power is energy efficiency as no energy is lost converting from DC battery and solar power to AC to run appliances. Most appliances are available in more energy efficient DC models.
Over time, GSI will offer more products and services as its experience grows and as GSI partners with more organizations. We anticipate the capabilities to design, install, and support the following: