EC schools benefit from wind power

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Two schools in the Eastern Cape have benefited from the installation of wind turbines to provide power to operate computers and other technological resources.
Kestrel Wind Turbines, a subsidiary of South African battery company Eveready, has supplied three e300i battery-charging 1 kW wind turbines to the schools, which previously had no electricity, Eveready Diversified Products South Africa national business manager Stuart Daniels reports.
Both projects, which have been successfully operational for about five to six months, include the installation of electrical reticulation and wind turbines. This involved erecting the wind turbine towers and the wind turbines and installing controllers, inverters and battery banks.
The required load for each school has been calculated to enable the battery banks to provide electricity to the schools on days without wind. Each battery bank comprises deep-cycle batteries with a life cycle of more than ten years, says Daniels.
Yellowwoods Farm School
State-owned power utility Eskom has sponsored the installation of two 1 kW wind turbines worth about R210 000, excluding Vat, at the Yellowwoods farm school, in Rocklands, near Port Elizabeth.
“The electrification project has provided Yellowwoods’ principal, its four teachers and 205 pupils with access to lighting for eight classrooms, an office, a strong room, a library and a staff room.
The wind turbines have also enabled the use of a photocopier and printer, as well as the capacity to power eight laptops, for which sponsorship has yet to be secured. The principal’s personal laptop is currently being used for school activities,” says Daniels.

Extensions Primary School
A 1 kW wind turbine installation worth about R170 000, excluding Vat, has also been commissioned at the Extensions primary school, in Haga Haga, near East London.
The electrification project was sponsored by Kestrel dis- tributor S&P Power and has provided Extension’s prin- cipal, its four teachers and 108 pupils with access to four laptops, a printer, a scanner, a photocopier, a fax machine and lighting for the school’s three double classrooms and office.
Extensions is a remotely located and disadvantaged farm school, catering for pupils from Grades R to 7. “Almost 95% of our pupils receive social grants and rely on initiatives such as the Department of Education’s national school nutrition programme,” explains Extensions acting principal Vuyani Maqubela, who says the installation has enabled the use of technology that helps facilitate teaching and learning at the school.

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