Kruger National Park PV Solar

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English: Pafuri Gate (North Entrance Kruger Park)

Pafuri  Camp in Kruger National Park wanted to reduce energy consumption in addition to strive towards independence from Eskom. The lodge houses staff, mainly rangers. Their distance from the closest power plant makes the cost of electricity costly. The lodge currently consumes 450 kWH of energy per day.


Energy consumption is skewed towards the evening, when most of the staff are at their residence. Kruger Park management were looking for a solution to provide power during this peak period, of 7pm to 11 pm. The lodge consists of 12 buildings varying from office, staff and management housing.


Solution


The final project consisted of three main components to meet this energy requirement.   A 60 Kw generator, 36 / 72 Kw inverter  and 30 Kw of PV solar panels. The system is balanced to minimize generator usage to 4 hours per day.  A purpose built structure is constructed  to hold components, invertors, batteries and generators. The PV solar panels are set-up in close proximity to the purpose built structure. The panels are set up using a modular approach for ease of future expansion. A combination of the solar panels and the purpose built structure is the site.


There were three sites constructed. This is done to reduce impact of one failure impacting the whole lodge. A 3-phased approach has been taken starting with 30 Kw and increasing to 90 Kw over 2 increments.   Each site chose to have its own 90 KVA/ 180 KVA power station, each with its own backup 80 KVA generator. This optimizes cable runs.



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