by Jagwe Wyclif, Uganda (PPRE 2005/07)
The Power Generation Plant
The power generation plant site is located at Bugala Island, on Lake Victoria in Uganda. The power generation plant is comprised of the following parts and assemblies to form a complete power generation facilities as follows:
- Main solar‐PV array: 627.45kWp assembled using 235Wp (2670pcs) solar modules manufactured by Premier Energy Systems of India
- Auxiliary battery charging Solar‐PV array: 53.11kWp assembled using 235Wp (221pcs) solar modules manufactured by Premier Energy Systems of India
- Grid‐Tie Inverters: 4x120kW power inverters manufactured by Leonics of Thailand
- Island Inverters: 2x200kW island‐inverters manufactured by Leonics of Thailand
- MPPT Charge controllers: 3x75kW charge controllers manufactured by Leonics of Thailand
- Diesel generators: 125kVA, 250kVA, 500kVA installed in master‐slave operational mode, manufactured by Catapillar
- Battery Bank: 480pcs rated 910Ah/2V with Aqua‐gen recombiner manufactured by Hoppecke, Germany
It is a stand-alone smart grid, with automated bi-directional inverter systems that maintain grid power and synchronisation of the grid frequency and voltage stabilization.
History of the Project
The project was first conceived in year 2006 by an investment company Kalangala Infrastructure Services Limited, when Wycliff was studying his master’s degree at Uni-Oldenburg. During his industrial training, he travelled back to Uganda, and was part of the team of engineers (Uganda and Norway) who carried out the pre-feasibility, and later a full feasibility in year 2007 (after graduation). During the industrial training, Wycliff installed the first meteorological station at the island to study the solar resources and other weather data (like Humidity, ambient temperature and wind) for which the feasibility study and detailed design would be based.
When finances and Government of Uganda guarantees were secured in year 2013, the construction of the facilities commenced, and Wycliff was the engineer in charge of construction supervision, operation acceptance and commissioning of the facilities. The facilities achieved full completion in November 2014 and were fully handed over to the Owner in March 2015.
Power Plant Capacity
The power plant, is based on a power generation standard of 240V/415Vac 50Hz at the inverter bus bars, and transformed by a 1MVA 33kV transformer for distribution to over 44-villages on the island. The main 33kV trunk line spans for about 66km, including several t-off lines to the load centres.
The plant supplies un-limited power for 24-hours of the day, continuous all year round, with instantaneous capacity of 600kWh. Its power substation is designed with 2x1MVA step-up power transformers, where one of the transformers is redundant.
The power plant is single-axis tracking, utilizing a unique active tracking system, manufactured by a company called Scorpius from India. The uniqueness of the tracking system is that, it uses mechanical principals, with frictionless shafts thereby requiring only a small electric motor to run the mechanical system. It uses a GPS and advanced algorithm, to adjust the tracker during the day. It also have both solar sensor and wind sensor, to help with the control. At wind speeds above 50 km/h the trackers will go to flat position for safety reasons.
Other Business and Current Engineering Work by Wycliff
My company ASTER INTEGRAL PRIVATE LIMITED (For which I am CEO/Managing Director), is giving technical assistance to a developer of a 15MWp solar-PV grid connected solar plant in Uganda. We have gone through feasibility studies, permit and licence application, PPA negotiations and awaiting the response from the Electricity Regulatory Authority for financial closure and later implementation.
Our company is also working with two other investors through feasibility to licensing for 4.5MW Waki Hpp and 9.6MW Nkusi hydropower plants. We are providing advanced power engineering services for substation extension, Voltage and Transient stability and island mode design for operation for optimization of distributed generation plants. Recently in year 2007-2011, we had done the same work for a developer of 10MW Buseruka hydropower plant, which was successfully brought online.
We have also furthered our professional work in solar water pumping, having implemented in year 2010-2013; nearly 33 schemes with total capacity of 456kWp equivalent of solar-water pumping plants (4kW-29kW AC systems pumping between 50m3-350m3 per day). From year 2014 until today, we rehabilitated 15 old water pumping sites and brought them back online; we are currently implementing other 35 water facilities and carrying out studies for 78 potential sites.