Work System

Work System - Energie Rinnovabili - Fotovoltaico - Off-grid

Photovoltaic dissalation: clean water and energy at Massawa, Eritrea

The lack of access to fundamental services like electricity and drinkable water is one of the main factors related to poverty and health problems in Sub-Saharian Africa. This is why works like the one in progress at the Catholic Church of Massawa, Eritrea, which also manages the orphanage House St. Francis – Gherar, are smart solutions that exploit abundant resources like solar radiation and salt water by means of state-of-the-art technological design.

Work System, involved as EPC in the project funded by ASPE Onlus and a private donor, is currently completing the installation of a 40 kWp photovoltaic power plant with 48 kWh capacity Lithium batteries. Last generation batteries and inverters are provided by Fronius and the system is able to automatically switch from a “grid-connected” mode to a “back-up mode”, in the frequent cases where the national electrical grid fails. The management of the batteries automatically allows to charge them by photovoltaic panels or by the grid, in cases of very low state of charge.

The monitoring is performed through dedicated interfaces and allows an instantaneous evaluation of the energetic fluxes and balances, regarding production, storage and consumption. The internet connection allows a remote real-time monitoring of the power plant.

The same photovoltaic plant feeds the required energy to the desalination plant supplied by Sireg Hydros, able to give up to 1.500 liters per hour of drinkable water. The water treatment plant is based on the reverse osmosis and is constituted by a submergible pump which pick the raw water from a dedicated new well, two pumps operating at different pressures, different stages of filtration and anti-scaling, including quartz sand and anthracite and cartridge filters, anti-scale station, chlorination and remineralization, besides tanks for the cleaning of the membranes, the electrical switchboard and the monitoring of the water quality.

The whole plant is mainly contained in a 40 feet shelter, pre-assembled in Italy. It hosts both the desalination plant and the photovoltaic BoS (inverters, batteries, main switchboard). The panels are mounted on the roof of the shelter itself and on a new dedicated structure that will shadow an existing building.

Such solutions respond to the specific needs of contexts with poor access to basic services and they are very important. Work System srl represents now a reality with strong experience and adaptability in such a field, with huge possibility of heterogeneous applications.