With the Project:
Solarizing Cold Storage Systems for Somali Fishermen
Alight, an American NGO, contracted SolarGen Technologies in 2020 with an aim to design, supply and install a new solar power source for fish processing centers in Bargaal and Garaad districts in the Puntland region of Somalia. SolarGen installed a 60 kWp solar system with 2 battery banks of 192 kWh storage in Bargaal and a 40 kW solar system with 2 battery banks of 96 kWh storage for the Garaad site.
One of the main challenges for the fishing sector is poor supporting infrastructure and cold chain facilities for harvesting, processing and marketing of fish and fishery products. The fishing cooperatives were held back because they could not afford the running cost of diesel to operate their previous investments in cold storage. As such, the fish caught could not be transported to other towns and urban centers in Puntland state. In fact, the fishermen had to throw away daily a large percentage of their catch which could not be consumed locally.
Alight launched a program in 2018 to support the development of the fishing sector in order to create jobs especially among youths. After working with the communities, Alight agreed to invest in new cold storage and ice-making facilities. However, they knew that they needed to solarize the systems to make them affordable for the cooperatives to maintain in the long run. Alight turned to SolarGen to design a customized solar solution for the processing centers.
As such, SolarGen provided two days hands-on training. The first training focused on hub operations including safety. The second training focused on troubleshooting of faults at the control room and replacement of component parts. Outside of the control room, where the PV panels and the mounting structure are located, the trainees were introduced to proper cleaning of the PV panels on regular basis, replacing of a broken panel, and wiring of the PV panels. The local electricians and operators of the company participated well during the training and it was interactive.
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