Project trip January 2018
Wind power for Tula/ Ethiopia 15. – 29.1.2018
Back row from the left:
- Uli Kretzschmar, Culture Manager from Dresden (20. - 28.1.)
- (Translator and interpreter, Liranso Salomon, Engineer from Hossaina)
- Hans-Jürgen Graf, Retired Carpenter from Starbach (15.1. – 4.2.)
- Martin Menzel, Truck Driver from Bodenbach (15.1. – 4.2.);
- Jochen Hahn, Priest from Rüsseina (15.1. – 4.2.);
- Franz Fröhlich, Development Engineer from Dresden (15. – 28.1.).
Front row from the left:
- Jürgen Mummert, Dipl.-Media and Technical Engineer from Dresden, (20.1. – 4.2.)
- Werner Hofmann, Retired Carpenter from Cossebaude, (15.1. – 4.2.)
- Holger Reinhardt-Weik, Diplom in Agriculture from Rüsseina, (20. – 29.1.)
- Lutz Mummert, Plumbing and Heating Technician from Klessig, (20. - 28.1.)
- Project plan 2017.
- Project goals for the 2018 trip.
- A Rectory turned into storage space for electrical spare parts and tins of fish.
- Pre-paid but not available - all is well in the end after problems with a supply order.
- A Contact with Mekane Yesus Church (Foreign Aid Department DASSC).
- Journey south, shopping in Hossaina.
- What we found in Tula - Condition of the installation.
- Village interest put to open discussion.
- Project task in Tula.
9.1. Expansion of the solar installation.
9.2. Laying a new electricity line.
9.3. Maintenance of the wind turbine.
10.1. Danger of short-circuit due to cable bundling.
10.2. The puzzle of the short-circuit safety switches.
10.3. Short life span of the Electricity masts.
- Data energy supply and demand.
- Our life in the camp.
12.1. Tents, cooking, good beer and nightly coffee rounds in the village hut.
12.2. Luxury sanitary: Shower and toilet.
12.3. Breath-taking night sky and refreshing silence.
12.4. Children, children…
12.5. Film night with German brass music.
- Future plans for Tula.
13.1. Completion of the installation in the village centre.
13.2. A compact energy headquarters for the "Amba-Village" (sub village) of Tula.
13.3. Plans for 2019.
- Many thanks for all the help.
- Costs of the project January 2018.
- Donations welcome.
1. Project recap 2017
Due to a strike of lightning in 2016 it was necessary for us, in January 2017, to make a damage report and with the help of an emergency power inverter and bring the installation back up and running again which we succeeded, (see report January 2017). Then in April 2017 one of our group members, Holger Schneidereit, made a short inspection, and established that the emergency power inverter was defect. Presumably the reason laying in a potential short-circuit at the end of the cable near the Mekane Yesus church, that was later remedied by the three village technicians. (See section 10. 1.) Since it would be extremely awkward for the village to wait until the next montage trip in January 2018 without electricity, we decided in June to install a more robust, permanent power inverter and if possible to repair the defective original appliance after replacing it. We could take care of the first but due to a defective circuit board, that we had no replacement for, we were unable to accomplish the second task. So never the less, the installation was again working in June 2017. Because of the relatively high number of huts and objectives already connected, 112 residential homes, 2 churches, a school and the village administration, it had been established, that the present energy quantity is not enough for another network extension, (see, the measurements and calculations in the project report 2016 under 3. 7. "Energy capacity and electricity consumption", as well as in this report under 11. "Data of Energy supply and demand”)
2. Project goals for trip in January 2018
The goal was clear: Already in 2016, the village community had asked that a somewhat outlying part of the village should get a supply of electricity. We had promised this at that time, interconnected with the plan, to install a second solar unit for capacity reasons. A solar roof (7.50 by 4.90 m) was erected quickly in January 2017, under our instruction, next to our electro house. Two main tasks were to be completed as follows:
- Installation of the new solar unit incl. Technical controls in the E-House.
- Laying of a new mainline up to the outlying village.
- Connection of approximately 35 homes along the new main line.
- Partial exchange of a stretch of low voltage cable with a higher voltage cable leading towards the Mekane Yesus-Church. (The last part of the main cable, which had been laid by the village technicians in 2016 under their own initiative).
- Examination of the wind turbine and wind charge controller.
- Because of the increase in solar panels it was necessary to increase the the fuse voltage and the battery supply cable in the electricity house.
It was clear from the start that we would not be able to complete all the tasks (particularly 3 and 4.). We can confidently leave this in the hands of the village technicians, who can now take care of matters like these as a routine task. In this respect, there was no pressure to complete this goal.
3. A parsonage kitchen turns into the storeroom for Electro material and tins of fish
Before things got going in Rüsseina, Trading stations were called for as my kitchen in the parsonage of Rüsseina then changed into a merchandise store for several days. Packages of, LED lamps, sockets, counters, cable binders, fuses and two large charge controllers … As well as tins of fish and meat, sausages and cheese, etc. Important survival supplies had to be distributed into the suitcases so that each passenger didn't exceed the 23Kg designated luggage allowance for each of the two suitcases they were permitted to take. This is usual for all air routes to Africa - thanks to God!
4. Pre-paid and not available - all's well that ends well with slight shopping problems
Since October 2017, we have been in contact with a solar and cable dealer. "All no problem" he said to us. "All available.” Then came the offer for the solar plates. 17 weeks delivery time (imported from Europe.) No way! We knew that there were sufficient PV-boards in Addis. In this case, the first dealer apparently wanted to earn a good profit. So we had to contact another dealer. "All o.k. 12x 250 watt modules is available". Payment by cash, of course. Therefore, as usual, it was paid in advance (paid from private funds). The bill was o.k.
The cable purchase was quite similar. 3000 m 1x16² copper insulated - no problem. Via private people over 6.000 Euro was bought to Addis. Friends in Addis made down payments. With this kind of money exchange, absolute trust is required.
Now, it looked as though, when we arrived in Addis nothing else could stand in our way of this purchase. We had planned a maximum of two days for this. It should not take any longer because of the Timkat-Festival, (a huge celebration of the Epiphanies-Festival, with gigantic parades) where the city is at a standstill for days.
We arrived in the evening of 15. 1. 2018, without any problems with customs into Addis. The next day, at the solar dealer we found out that the solar panels were not available. However, "Smaller (200 watts) panels are available.” At the cable shop, the shopkeeper told us, "We are very sorry but the company in Addis doesn't have any copper. Maybe in one week."
It was clear to us: We need the PV-Panels straight away - most definitely. Otherwise, we are jobless in Tula. Therefore, rearrange it: 16 x200 watts will also work. Only that, the roof plan would have to be changed. Therefore, 16 pieces of 200-watt-panels were bought. Everything went surprisingly well. Additional to our jeep, we rented a pick-up to bring the solar panels, our luggage and us to Hossaina and Tula.
We needed the cable within one week at the latest, when the follow-up group would arrive. Here, we could only hope for the best. After my experiences in Ethiopia, the cable delivery time appeared to me to be unrealistic. Thanks to our helpers, Melat and Josef in Addis, who took care of the cables so that everything turned out well. After the follow-up group arrived in Tula on Monday 22. 1. the cables were actually delivered directly to Tula on Tuesday 23.1.
5. Contact with the Mekane Yesus Church, (foreign aid department DASSC)
It was already clear to us while planning the project in Tula that we would need a partner in the country to make it work. We found this in the Protestant church "Mekane Yesus". This church has several millions of members in Ethiopia and entertains an individual foreign aid department. It is recognized by the government as a relief organization and seems to have a certain amount of customs relief connected to it. We already signed an official partnership contract with this church in 2011. Although the main contact person for us is based in the synod of Hossaina (Project leader: Ato Ashenafi), we keep in touch with the headquarters in Addis Abeba. For this purpose, we made a short visit there, in order to inform them extensively about all our plans. For the Mekane Yesus church, our project is of relative high importance, since it is heavily laden with the topic "climate change / alternative projects in the rural areas."
6. Journey South, Shopping in Hossaina
On Wednesday, 17. 1., it was finally time. The solar panels were stowed together with our luggage and then, off to Hossaina by jeep and Pickup. Because of the bad roads (despite reconstruction by China a few years ago), we now need, with breaks, 6 ½ hours for 230 km - all under the motto: "Duration is nothing - arriving is all." Apart from the unpredictable deep pot holes, it's donkeys, goats, sheep and cows, that in all calmness, meander the street, which often leads too much clearer brake manoeuvres.
Already in the evening, at the hotel “Lemma” (commendable) we could forge new plans for the following days with our very active Mekane-Yesus-Projek leader Ashenafi and our long-standing translator Liranso.
On Thursday 18. 1. Jeep and Pickup trundled off to Tula. Part of the group, Werner, Martin and Franz, should start building up our quarters (tents, toilet, kitchen) there. Hans-Jürgen Graf and I went by jeep from Mekane Yesus on a shopping trip in Hossaina.
Roof slats, boards, food supplies, beverages etc. important things for survival stood on the list. The assent followed that afternoon, to Tula situated approximately 500 m higher, (3000 m above sea level). So on this day most of the tents could be put up, the toilet opened,( the little hut is always locked when we leave), even the installation of the cold water shower on the tree. At last, Werner, our cook was able to spring into action in the "kitchen."
7. What we found in Tula - condition description
Every arrival in Tula is always connected with worries: What will await us? Are there damages, which we know nothing about? Therefore, the first questions are: Is the turbine still standing? Is the electricity on? This time, both answers were, Yes. Therefore, all-clear. Here the following short condition report:
a) Electro house
What we noticed: The electro house was clean. The otherwise very dusty floor (part concrete, part clay), was now covered with a big plastic tarpaulin. The diesel unit was working. Motor oil was full. The tools at the worktable were the same as in 2017, without any losses. The two solar charge counters from "Victron" were working perfectly, as well as the main power inverter from "Victron." The battery levels were very low. This was to be expected, as since additions made in 2016, the total limit had been exceeded. The technicians solved the problem in agreement with the village, by removing the electricity during the day so that energy was available through the whole night. Therefore, in the mornings, there were clearly energy reserves left over.
b) Wind power installation
From what we could see from the outside, the wind power installation was in order. The rotor ran extremely central and quiet. At first, we could not see the problem with the slewing ring, which only showed up after the charge controller malfunctioned and for security reasons, automatically bought the wind turbine to a halt. Hereby, it was necessary for us to make repairs (see: section 9. 3.)
c) Condition of the cable lines
All in all the cables are in a passable condition. In some places, the protective covers had shifted on the mast hooks. We were able to straighten some masts, which had begun to lean. However, in some areas tree overgrowth is causing an unpredictable tension on the cable. This is a job for the management maintenance to catch up on.
d) Financial situation in the village Electricity petty cash (Current exchange rate: 1 Euro = 33 Birr)
Each of the 112 currently connected households pays 20,-Birr per month electricity charge, in 2017 that was 0,80 €, in 2018, it is only 0,60 €. + 5 Birr for the Electricity house security guard who has his bed in the small extension next to the electricity hut. Seeing as the three technicians take their monthly wage, 700 Birr each (currently 21,- €). The security guard receives 500 Birr (= 15.00 €). Then the purchase of diesel and motor oil in the rain season, there was only approximately 1,000 Birr in the electricity cash box. This is clearly not enough back up reserves. At the moment, revenues just cover expenditures. Here we can hope that a higher surplus reserve can be accumulated when the next 40 homes are connected. An increase in electricity charges of about 5 Birr would also have to be considered in the coming year (keeping in mind the planned regular visit of an advisory electrician from Hossaina).
8. Important village matters in an open discussion
It is part of our fundamental procedure that all matters are to be discussed with the Village Elders. So, this year a public village meeting was also organized. This really does take place openly and in public. Once on the Wind Turbine hill, once on the big football pitch next to the electricity hut and, as in this year, in the area next to our camp. Women are not seen at these meetings except for Almaz, our young female village technician. We made one condition when choosing three people to train as technicians that at least one had to be a woman. Now, her presence is a still rare, but a beautiful sign for the acknowledgment of women in this traditionally male dominated society.
In the meeting, concerns were discussed clearly:
a) The villagers express their thanks for all our help in developing their village. We thank the villagers for so actively taking part in erecting the power line masts. This has not something that happened without instruction in other parts of Ethiopia.
b) The villagers great worry: "Are you here for the last time?" We had given to understand that we would try to come to a preliminary close of our part in the development of energy supply in Tula by 2018. We explained that we will still accompany the village and help with the project. In answer to this, there was a big sigh of relief from the villagers!
c) With the present installation, how many more homes can be connected to the power line? The village has 230 cottages altogether, including the lower village. We explained once again as we had said from the start, that we can only connect 150 homes in total because of the solar panel extension in the main village. So we suggested the idea to install a separated energy supply in the lower village further away ("Amba-Village") in the next years. This would mean that altogether 200 families could be provided with electricity. With this prospect, the village elders were very happy.
d) Our question to the village elders was: Is there a problem with the restricted quantity of electricity supplied to each home? To our relief, the answer was, "It's O.K. so." knowing that demand would rise. We nevertheless are amazed how modest the villagers use of electricity remains. We explain again that this project has a considerable meaning as probably the first external Aid development of a partial electricity supply in remote rural regions of Ethiopia. Therefore, experiences must be collected and logged for the future. Problems will occur, and we must find the solution.
e) A qualified Electrician will be responsible for the three village technicians, and visit Tula once a month, to actively check the complete installation (Befkadu, from Hossaina). The village elders are to make the decision of how much wages he should receive. This can admittedly not be too high, that the revenues of the newly connected homes, are not eaten up. (see:- 7. "Financial situation of the village electricity kitty")
9. Project Tula
9.1. Extension of the solar installation
With 112 homes connected, two churches, a school and village administration, the capacity of the installation has been exceeded. The only solution for this would be an expansion to the solar installation. With an increase of about 3,2 kWp, the entire installation would be doubled to 6,2 kWp. This is the maximum of the present battery storage (at the moment approx. max. 240 A with 24 VDC system tension with 1.800 gel).
As previously explained, we had to purchase 16 x 200 watt panels instead of 12 x 250 Watt panels in Addis. The allocation concept had to be changed. That was possible without further ado, due to the size of the roof. Since we could not obtain any metal framework in Addis, we screwed the panels onto wooden frames in two separate solar fields, which we could then attach to the corrugated iron roof without a problem. All that was left was for the corner mountings and screws to be ordered in Germany by Mobile phone, so that our follow on group could make a last minute purchase before their flight took off.
In the electro house, two new charge controllers were installed and were adjusted to the already existing controller’s logarithm. We also had to upgrade all battery cables and the main fuse to 250 A because of the raise in the maximum electricity production.
9.2. Laying a new mains electrical cable route (see the map: every yellow point is a home connection 1/2018).
In 2016, the plan was already made to connect a part of the village with electricity, which until this point had not been considered. It is a small additional part to Tula about the size of two long stretched football pitches placed northwest from the main village of Tula. From the air, this development resembles with some imagination, a trumpet funnel with mouthpiece, which gave us the idea of naming this area of the village "trumpet". The small corner bar in this area also has a new name: "To the trumpet."
The next question was: How do we best reach "trumpet"? In 2016, we thought that the best route would be from the main cable near the school and down through the valley. An excursion this year quickly showed that the valley was ore of a rough canyon and that there were hardly any homes on route to be connected. So, we quickly resolved this with a quite different solution. We extended the already existing cable from second church in a big half bow and reached the village from the back. The advantage being, many homes could be connected by the shortest route directly from the main cable. Because the total length would be 1.3 Km. The first 700 m needed to be replaced with a higher voltage cable (6² to 16²). The lower voltage cable was then free to be used to make the new connections to the homes.
In two hours, the route was paced with the mayor, locations for each mast were marked immediately. Usually, the holes were dug behind us as we moved on and the eucalyptus trees felled. 25 masts were set at 25m intervals. To combat the ground moisture, the masts were coated with a bitumen layer and then stones were trod in around the base. The double cable was passed over the masts (separately insulated wires held apart by means of montage band).
9.3. Maintenance on the wind turbine
At first sight, there was no problem to be seen with the wind turbine. However, the charge controller had switched off in the electro house. In this instance, the wind turbine is automatically bought to a stop. The charge controller could be got up and running again with the exchange of a few electronic elements. We will still have to make a few investments in work development here, to increase the permanent loading capacity of the otherwise brilliantly constructed regulator, (H. Schneidereit, Meissen). The wind turbine itself runs wonderfully. Nevertheless, we wanted to lay it down and examine the mechanics. Here the examination proved to be urgently necessary, as a problem was established in the rotatory ring. Presumably, the ball-bearing track had badly worn out through the amount of dust in it so that it had led to a lot of play in the ring and a great deal of friction. For safety reasons, by means of metal bolts, (in the meantime one has all sorts of Special materials to hand) we fixed the rotatory ring. However, the alignment into the main wind direction (East north-east) continued to make the most of the best night winds. We will need to find a more stable material.
For the moment, the wind-powered installation should only be put into action when the electricity is actually in immediate demand. This will probably be necessary very soon with the additional home connections.
In our reports, we want to give information openly about everything, good and bad. Over and again, we are faced with problems that we must solve. Apart from the already portrayed problems at the wind turbine, we must keep in mind the following issues:
10.1. Danger of short-circuiting due to cable bundling
Until now, we have laid the insulated main cables separately, left and right over the top of the masts by means of hooks. This is O.K. Over the last three years the thinner cables, also insulated, leading to the groups of homes have been bundled together on one side of the masts. This led to a partial short-circuiting in 2017 due to the friction created between the cables. The village technicians were able to track and remedy this problem. Nevertheless, we must separate all cables in future. The already existing installations must be checked and re-laid according to these regulations. The village technicians have already been told and are able to continue this task independently.
10.2. A conundrum with the main trip switch safety concept
We followed a clear graded safety concept from the start. The circuit breaker in the homes only plays a subordinate role in the case of an electrical overload. The plan is that in the case of an electrical overload only the specific fuses will trip, close to the user. This way the problem is quickly limited to the area of overload without affecting any other areas in the village. This is to prevent the main fuse in the electro house tripping when there is a short-circuit and switching off the electricity for the whole. Unless, the short-circuit was in the main axis, (which is very un-likely).
In the electro house, there is a main circuit breaker for the village line, 20 A, selective protection with 2 sec. delayed release; maximum momentary total output approximately 4.6 Kw; Maximum performance of the inverter: 5 Kw on main cable branches, 10 A-fuses were installed. Every branch leading to a group of homes is protected with a 6-A-curcuit breaker. In each home, there is a very small house circuit breaker of only 300-500 mA. This immediately trips off when an unauthorised overload is connected in the home. This works well.
Now to the problem: After completing the new semi-circular ring (approximately 1.3 km of 16² copper), we did a short circuit test on the response of the main cable branch circuit breaker, at the end of the cable (10 A). This didn't trip, although at the other end, in the Electro house the inverter tripped off approximately 4 sec after. The overload measured 5Kw just before it tripped (over 20 A!). That is quite illogical, this means that at least 20A must have flowed through the 10A circuit breaker, roughly in the middle of the 2.3Km stretch of cable. At the moment, we cannot yet explain this problem. In 2019, we will take more short-circuit tests and reduce the distances between circuit breakers if necessary.
10.3. Limited life expectancy of the electricity masts
We had assumed until now, that the eucalyptus wood would be very durable, also in the ground. It contains a great deal of resin and is very tough when dry. However, it turns out that the ground moisture in the rain season as well as small animals, leaves the wood rotting in the ground after a few years. The trunks remain durable much longer in the area above the ground. We already covered the upper mast end with aluminium foil. Trunks that are anchored in the ground surrounded by stones, also usually hold longer. Nevertheless fundamentally we must consider a solution that is more durable, even if exchanging the masts are a relatively quick and simple task. If only one rotten mast is not exchanged, it could endanger the whole circuit.
We have two possible solutions on offer:
a) Using pine wood. These trees also grow in Tula, though not so many. They should hold for about 15 years.
b) The manufacture of a simple 1.5 m long concrete element, that can be buried in the ground and can be screwed together with the mast above the ground. The production of these elements could take place with simple wood moulds in Tula (concrete casting with metal). These concrete elements would have to be poured in advance and used when mounting new masts as well as successively replacing the old masts. There is also the thought of using a U-carrier made of iron. However, this would have a considerable cost factor, since heavy metals are expensive and difficult to come by.
11. Data, energy supply and demand
It is very interesting to know how much energy the village really needs. It was only possible to take a partial measurement due to the fact that for building reasons part of the village was temporarily disconnected. With the presently connected 112 homes the demand at peek time, in the evening, around 20:00 hrs. was 1.4 kW. In the morning at 07:00 hrs. it was 0.8 kW. The overall daily average demand is about 13 to 14 kWh. Through the double up of the solar performance, on a sunny day, the batteries were already full by midday and the solar - and wind production could be turned down. It is interesting that the electricity production is always approximately 30 % higher than the overall consumption. This costs considerable energy in storage and in transforming. It is also interesting that the solar installation itself even under cloudy skies still produces some energy. The collection already begins at sunrise. Apparently, the thin dust layer directs the low angled light directly onto the panels. On one day, the maximum solar energy production was 20.7 kWh (6.2 kWp. Solar performance). Even though, some of the energy had been prematurely let off through overloaded batteries.
The wind turbine brings in approximately 6 kWh on a breezy night.
We assume that the installation can supply approximately 150 homes with electricity. Then, "extensions" will have to stop.
12. Our life in the camp
12.1. Tents, cooking, good beer and coffee evenings in the main living hut
It is much valued by the villagers that we don't dive into the city in the evening in order to sleep in a comfortable hotel. We pitch our tents on a small farmstead and live with the people in the village under very modest circumstances. It has the advantage for us that we save a lot of commuting time and have the installation in our view on location. Moreover, the connection to the family has something very personal, which is something very important for us.
What do we live on? Honestly said, we find it hard to eat what the locals live on,: It is usually roasted grains (Kolo), hot or cold mash made from the wrong banana plant (Kotcho) and sometimes dark or spicy wheat (!) bread, sometimes also lentil mash. The homemade bread is particularly quite delicious. Kotcho however does not belong to our number one favourites. The people in Tula only very rarely eat meat. There is not a single obese person living in Tula…
We tend to bring ourselves something a little more "substantial" to eat from Germany: Tinned meat, tinned food like, goulash, pasta, salami, hard cheese, tinned fish, jam and chocolate… this is combined with tomatoes, bananas, onions, herbs, eggs and garlic, native potatoes and carrots. Werner Hofmann, our cook, could conjure wonderful feasts daily.
What do we cook on? Two typical local ceramic stoves heated with wood coal have truly proven themselves. Each stove cost 70.00 Birr = 2.20 Euro. at the market in Hossaina.
There are also many good beers available in Hossaina and sometimes even in Tula. The Ouzo and gin are also outstanding - of course only for purely medicinal purposes.
Daily, our driver Shiferaw, is given a shopping list, which he takes to the city where he shops and then sleeps for one night before returning with the goods.
In the evenings at 8 o'clock, we are regularly invited for coffee and bread or Kolo at our family's home. We all sit together with the family members around the flickering fire in the middle of the spacious round mud hut. There is no outlet or vent for the smoke. The walls and ceiling are covered with a blanket of black soot - also our cables and plastic clip boxes. Behind us, the puffing and snuffling of the animals, horses, cows, oxen, sheep and chickens… It is a unique atmosphere. Even the light bulb, "our light", cannot disturb this, though we purposefully bought a warm light bulb from Germany. In Ethiopia, there are only "cold light" bulbs available. After a small digestive schnapps it's up into the tents relatively early, 9 o'clock. It gets dark at 7 o'clock. What more would you want to do besides read something, make a phone call or simply fall asleep, if the Iso-mat allows it.
By the way, telephoning, this now works quite well in Ethiopia, in Tula only now and again. It is expensive with a German network. With an Ethiopian SIM-card, it is much cheaper (approximately 40 cent/Min.). Since 2017, requirements have been that one must have a mobile phone to be registered with the Ethiopian state.
Amazingly, my German mobile works without a problem. It was already recorded last year… and possesses an Ethiopian Registration number.
12.2. Sanitary luxury: Shower and toilet
We treated ourselves to this: a toilet since 2015, built from a raised transportation crate with a real loo seat and a "half door." One can tell if this special place is occupied when feet or head are to be seen.
We set up a cold shower each time we arrive. It consists of a water barrel with a shower head tied to a tree. The three-sided shower curtain gives curious children (and women?), a small insight into the hygiene habits of the "Ferentschis", which they call white people here. The shower is difficult to fill with the help of a ladder and water containers. Maybe a small electric pump could make this act a little easier.
12.3. Breath taking night skies and refreshing silence
The clear night ski is breath taking. Many a time have I received a bonus during bouts of insomnia. It is as if the Southern Cross is painted across the morning twilight. The stars glisten in a way that seems almost unreal. Even after the sunrise, there is a quenching silence that is then dissolved only by the waking call of the trumpet, which I play each morning from the Windmill hill above our camp.
12.4. Children, children …
The children are a big joy and presumably, we are for the children too. They are our continuous companions, sometimes a little too continuous and jet so lovable. Often, they just like to help, happily pushing a wheelbarrow and carrying our aluminium ladder like a centipede. You don't need much to make them happy. Top of the list is a football. This time we had three for Tula. It could have been 10 without any qualms. The children love balloons too. We don't give sweets, except maybe at the evening family coffee or on the last day. We often meet small four or five-year old children, carrying even smaller siblings around on their backs. Their eyes filled with tales to tell, something, which one no longer experiences here in our degrees of latitude so often.
12.5. Public viewing and German chorale
Social contact and project work go hand in hand. Just installing a technical project and then leaving again, is not the way to do it at all. In many cases, connecting with the community is a basic requirement for creating a long lasting project, with which not only the heads but also the hearts of the villagers are involved. Therefore, at the end of each big project visit we organize a public viewing with photos and short films from the days spent together. This year, we tacked a "Gabi" (a big white Ethiopian cotton cloth) to the clay wall of the electro house and we showed the pictures with the projector from the electro house. As there were so many viewers, a great amount of rejoicing sounded as they recognized themselves.
Lutz Mummert and I accompanied the film evening with a few German church hymns and folk songs on the trombone and trumpet. Much to the joy of our guest family, in the evenings prior to the film night we performed small evening serenades (see picture).
13. Future prospects for Tula
13.1. Completion of the installation in the main village
In January 2018, we were able to complete the fundamental requirements for the electricity supply in the main part of the village of Tula and with that, end the building work. The village technicians will connect an extra 30 homes with the (wrongly measured) cable. Following up by completely replacing the cable, which is too thin for the Mekane Yesus Church at the North of the village, with the rest of the new 16²- copper cable. As in section 10.1 the technicians have already been advised about the separation of the electricity cables along the way.
13.2. A compact power station for the "Amba-Village" (sub village) of Tula
As there is no electricity supply in "Amber village" situated about 1.5 to 2 km away from Tula, we plan to build a small and more compact solar power energy system in the next few years. The difference Amber village has to the main village is that the roughly 50 homes in the village, stand much closer together, which is good for the realisation of the project. A solar installation with approximately 3 kWp, with sufficient accumulator storage and inverters. The technical units should also be installed in a separate standing electro house, whereas the electronics should be kept to a minimum. This smaller and more compact form of energy installation will be another model for further small island energy systems for smaller rural regions of Ethiopia in the future.
Incidentally, we discovered a wonderfully beautiful path, about 2 km long which leads directly to Amber Village, from our electro house in Tula. Let’s call it "Tula-Panorama-Way."
13.3. Plans for 2019
In 2019, if the political situation in the country permits, we could perform a complete service check of the whole main village circuit including a safety test of all circuit boxes. There should be trials made in producing the concrete elements for the bases of the masts so that a reserve of these elements can be accumulated.
Preparation work must also take place in Amber Village: Village survey, planning of the cable circuit, construction of a simple electro house with corrugated roof (for PV-panels).
One problem could present itself in the path to the sub-village from Tula. The path from the main village as of the school playground is a very steep incline. However, it may be manageable with a four-wheel drive vehicle. It is possible that there is another way round from the other side that we don't yet know about.
14. A cordial thanks for all the help on location
There has been a partnership contract between the Protestant church Mekane Yesus, foreign aid department DASSC, and our organisation since 2017. This partnership is filled with life, in particular in Hossaina. Quite heartily, we thank the present project coordinator Ashenafi, (picture 1), who is very active and reliable in taking care of all our needs and worries and giving us on the spot support if special transportation needed or questions needed to be clarified at the village.
Also, many thanks to our loyal translator Liranso Salomon (picture 2). Almost every day, he accompanied us in Tula and interpreted all technical and factual questions with expertise. We would not have been able to communicate with the villagers or the three village technicians without him.
The same goes for Ashenafi and also "Liri" with whom we have a very warm hearted friendship.
Thanks to our chauffeur Shiferaw (picture 3), who accompanied us the whole trip, several years running with his jeep, as a reliable and a safe driver and as head buyer, bringing all possible necessities to Tula daily. We would have been very hungry without him. Thanks also to friends, Melat and family (picture 4) and the metal specialist in Addis Abeba, Yosef (picture 5), who gave us effective support with complicated supplies of cables and solar plates.
15. Costs of the project trip January 2018
The total costs of this action amounted to approximately 15.000 Euro. Taking into account: Solar panels, technical controls cables, installation, and fortification material as well as transportation, and extra expenses (services) in Ethiopia. The volunteers themselves pay for flight costs and food.
16. Donations welcome
We still require project funds for future plans. The costs of materials alone for a compact energy system for the sub village are estimated at about 15.000 -20.000 Euro. There will be additional cost for transport and logistics. We are very grateful for every donation. All volunteers traveling with the project to Ethiopia carry the cost for their flight, food and extras privately.
Thank you to all donors and helpers that have made this project possible!
Dr. J. Hahn, April 2018
Team leader. "Wind energy Ethiopia e. V."
Photos: Jürgen Mummert, Jochen Hahn