Project Trip January 2013

Wind Energy For Tula/Ethiopia 23rd January - 18th February 2013

Result report of the Ethiopia trip 2013


Dr. Jochen Hahn, Rüsseina, 5. V. l., Dipl. -Eng. Wolde Giorgis Demissie, Berlin, , 2. V. r., Lutz Mummert, Klessig, 6. V. l., Dirk Schulze, Dresden, 4. V. l., Holger Schneidereit, Meißen, 3. V. l., Thomas Hoffmann, Bannewitz, 1. V. r.,

Travel time

23. 1. - 9. 2. 2013 (Hahn, Mummert, Schulze)
17 1. - March 2013 (Demissie, Schneidereit)
24. 1. -18. 2. 2013 (Hoffmann)

Aim of the trip

  1. Realization of the original building plans in Tula: Foundation works, lying of test cable; Agreements about further project plans
  2. Inspection in Debo, Companion back up for the new concept of the workshop; if necessary exchange of accumulators.

Report contents

  1. Introductory remarks
  2. A customs problem.
  3. Preparation phase in Addis Abeba.
    • a) Tasks in the workshop of EECMY-DASSC.
    • b) Procurement of materials and tools.
  4. … Perseverance is the name of the day, and it paid off - Hossana and Tula
  5. Perspective for the project plan "Tula"
  6. Inspection of the village Debo

1. Introductory remark

After the project village Debo has been established, in the Highlands of Ethiopia, where the Energy plant has been installed since 2007/08, despite some further necessary demands. The village Tula, in Southern Ethiopia could now be taken on as a new project village to be realised. In 2011 and 2012 plans to bring electricity to a large area of the village could be truly put into motion.

Wind measurements were good. Both the local people as well as the regional civil public body are showing to be very positive about this project.

A very elaborate feasibility study, produced by ourselves, gives information about the realization possibilities of this project plan, (see: / Das project in Tula / Machbarkeitsstudie).

As an Ethiopian partner, the foreign aid department of the Ethiopian evangelical church Mekane Yesus "Development and Social services Commission of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus" (abbreviated with EECMY-DASSC), stand at our disposal.

In 2013 it is all about the realization of the first steps.

2. A Customs problem

So innocently there, we had some things in our suitcase, not very valuable, a lot of "bits and bobs" to work with, as you do: Cable binder, wood screws, small plastic collective clamps, mini protection holders, isolation tube, second-hand power drill, second-hand welder… the customs took most of it to one side, listed it , no knowledge of what it should be useful for, therefore "investigates" the prices in the internet (with Amazon). We suspect that our "bits and bobs" were given a value of one thousand Euros, as we were asked to pay the grand total of 450,00 Euro customs Duty. After protest to the head officer and the help of Wolde, we were then "allowed to" leave 290,00 Euro, in order to get our "bits and bobs" out of locked doors, after four hours of negotiation and uncertainty. However, we were not the only ones. Apparently foreign exchange is collected regularly so.

Certainly, it would have been better to produce a customs list for all tools and aids with the suppliers' details, article number and price in order to exclude such an incorrect payment of duty.

3. Preparation phase in Addis Abeba

Although a costs and work division had been arranged with EECMY-DASSC in June 2012, despite efforts, the Ethiopian partner could not find any sponsor. Unfortunately, we had no knowledge of this until the time of our arrival in Addis Abeba. We were counting on the mast construction and the wind turbine having been built and specified materials having been bought. Plan, drawings and lists had been forwarded to Addia well in advance. Now, there was nothing left than for us to find a way with EECMY-DASSC, that nevertheless was passable, (as giving up is not an option for us).

So EECMY-DASSC put together transportation and a restricted amount of funds, a Workshop as well as a locksmith for our disposal. So that at least the most important part of the mast construction could be built on the spot. For the purchases of important appliances and materials, an approved purchase team was organised for us by EECMY-DASSC, were as we had already declared we were prepared to take over the funding.

Unfortunately, through this we lost valuable time urgently needed for the inspection in Debo.

Between 26th and 30th Jan. All materials and constructions could obtain and built.

a) Jobs in the workshop of EECMY-DASSC

After the locksmith, Tamrat, had carefully selected and collected necessary iron parts from a local scrap metal yard,( for example a bearer with the writing "Breda 1935"), L. Mummert, D. Schulze and J. Hahn, together with Tamrat, despite multiple power cuts, could cut, drill, turn and weld the basis construction for the wind turbine. Flex and welding appliances are main tools needed with which (almost) all the construction is done.

As there was still money left over from the supplied finances, we immediately bought three old water pipes (ca. 3 m) from the same scrap metal yard, so that Tamrat could then later build the feeder construction without obstacle.

It became clear in this workshop: Not only from the material but also from the tools available, the building of the entire metal construction of the wind power installation is independently possible. Knowing this is important for us, as our concept is based on the thought that obtaining and producing essential components must be independently possible in Ethiopia.

b) Procurement of materials and tools

There were approximately 30 articles on the list, from the water container to heels, shovels, Emergency power generators crowbars, trowels, hammers, nails, corrugated iron, paint, brushes, tar paint, spirit-level, boards, saw, wheelbarrows, lead batteries, plastic barrel, 1 ton of cement, 6 tons of sand, welding wire… and electricity cables. Sand, cement and corrugated iron could only be obtained in Ethiopia's south, in Hossana. However, the cables were the main problem, above all their astronomic prices. Only on the third day of our search, could cables be bought "with implementation of compromise" at inflated prices. Of all of the articles, the sheet metal pails were the only articles that had been produced in Ethiopia. They would almost pass as plant pots for us, with holes in the bottom and a flat iron handle, in which the danger arises even when only half filled, that the pail can easily come crashing to the ground. This also makes one think and shows, how underdeveloped the economy here is and remains further underdeveloped through Asian imports. One could call the flooding of the country with foreign products and foreign workers and foreign orders, industrial colonialism, that at the most modernizes a country, but in no way really develops it.

4. A hard fought for success - Tasks in Hossana and Tula

Now, how does one get the iron construction and the many merchandise into the South-Ethiopian district city of Hossana? Truck transportation had cancelled at short notice. So, on 30th Jan. a minibus was ordered, whose driver had only vague ideas, of the volume of our freight… after frowns and audible moaning he was ready, for 2.000 Birr, approximately 80,00 Euro, to transport the load of material and people, 230 km.

So, on the 31st Jan. with the help of the co-workers, a HEAVY GOODS VEHICLE + jeep from Mekane Yesus in Hossana, all further concerns could be organised: Sand from a riverbed, cement, (Chinese of cause), corrugated iron and other things. Much can be obtained in this city. So, in the shelter of the Mekane Yesus-Zentrale we could construct wheel barrows and shovels as well as paint the iron construction with rust protection paint.

On the 1st Feb. the TRUCK was loaded with all remaining things and set off for Tula. Anxious question: Will the wooden bridge on the way to Tula, carry the over 12 ton Truck? If not, then what? Again and again new tension, and often, it is tension pure, since any tiny mistake could throw the whole plan.

Parallel to this, we get going with the jeep in the direction of Tula in order to announce and introduce ourselves to the district administration of Morsito, approximately in the middle of our route.

The representation of our intent was met with very positive resonance, since the topic alternative energy, at the moment also plays a big role in Ethiopia and could find a very concrete realization here. The remaining trip to Tula in rather adventurous ways, went amazingly smoothly, also for the TRUCK.

A short account of the days in Tula

Friday, 1st Feb.

(afternoon) in Tula - Greeting, hospitality, - Quarters possibility in the farmstead near to power plant location on the hill. It is a little tight here! Six people on the floor on straw mats (from the wrong banana), and all the tools, (that had been completely mixed up by the customs) - Inspection of the hills for the location of the turbines, establishing the location for the wind turbine. - Establishing the ditches for the electric cables, wind turbine and electro house foundations. - Establishing of the location and the dimensions of the Electro-house - Clarification of the method and procedure for volunteers: In Tula, the inhabitants should be the volunteers, which astonished us that, in the contrast to Debo, was also accepted. - Volunteers start to dig the ditches for the cables. - Measurement of the guide ropes foundation point at the Wind turbine location. - Start digging the ditches on the hill location (main foundation and the guide ropes anchoring foundation). * Working through the very rocky underground (usually only with crowbars) proved itself very arduous. * There where grown-ups quietly and secretly resign, children continue! - In the evening the power levels are spent, children and grown-ups play ball games on the big village green. - In the evening: Invitation to the big residential hut - we are taken back 1000 years - In the evening all the livestock strolls in through the entrance, because they sleep together in one room with the 12 inhabitants there. To be precise: 3 cows, 2 little calves, one horse, a mule, donkeys, several chickens with cockerel and sheep with lambs, all sleep there.

Construction / description of the "Tula-village community hut"

Round hut, straw-covered, 12m diameters, Central supporting mast approximately 7 m high with "umbrella supports" installed around it, the right third: Boxes for the livestock, left middle: Fireplace (without chimney), oil light on the centre mast, wooden cross beams over the fire going out from the centre mast, for standing pots and other appliances; left back: Small room separated for supplies; one sleeps on straw mats made of the wrong banana; one sits on carved wooden stools as well as on rolled up straw mats; one small window opening with shutters (usually closed).

Evening mood: quiet murmur, animals chewing, cracking of the fire, silhouette-like faces,; the eyes weep from the smoke; but compared to the cool night outdoors, it is very warm in the hut.

Consequence of electricity supply: Only a warm toned dim bulb would fit here as a central light, cold light would destroy the character of the mood completely, - During the night a long awaited, almost continuous strong rain falls.

Saturday, 2nd Feb.

- Strong fogs, wet, - 9.00 o'clock, nobody of the announced 30 workers is here, (it is said there is supposed to have been a burial…) - We begin alone, to hack out the holes for the foundation. Volunteers come one by one and take our tools from our hands, - the work (so from 10.30 am) is now in progress - Start mixing concrete on the village green - the village people understand very fast and can work independently - water is fetched from the near well. The foundations are concreted piece by piece; the basic construction of the wind power installation is lined up and fixed. * Children participate enthusiastically with the wheelbarrow transportation of the concrete (Would we have had a problem on schooldays here?). - The cable ditch is advancing over the hill and down the other side. - A further 2m x 15 m long ditches are dug in order to lay the iron strip (lightning protection earth line). Th. Hoffmann and H. Schneidereit install a "model house connection" with circuit breaker box, counters and socket in two houses. * The house connection box is simple and easily reproduced and is made from a plastic box, (ours' is from Ikea), with lip on the lid to snap shut, flap out fuse box for mini glass fuses,( 250 MA so-called Hesi-fuse), and 2 cable connection elements. * This circuit breaker box which is to be installed in each house should restrict the consumer capacity and at the same time offer a higher security against fire risk, (50 copies of these are ready to be installed, in Addis). - The main cable is laid together with a lead cable from the wind hill to the E-House, where the ground is rocky, they will be laid into a Plastic pipe, covered completely with sand. The surface of the E-House is dug out flat and thanks to the tirelessness of the "wheelbarrow children"! Concreted by nightfall. * Ground measurements: 6x3 m; from which 3x3 m concreted. * planned with flat roof for solar panels *As the sun pendels from the southern to the northern tropic, the roof should lay horizontally in North, South direction, however it should also be slightly westward inclined, since in the afternoon, according to the locals, the sun seems to be clearly more intensive than the in the morning. Eucalyptus poles are obtained, (there are thousands in Tula), freed from the bark and painted with a bitumen mass over the end to go into the earth. * Three poles should be enough to construct a mast. In the evening: Invitation to the village hut.

Sunday, 3rd Feb.

- We go to the church service by Mekane Yesus on the other end of the village (over 2 km) * Invitations for tea and drinking Talla, (the homemade beer here is mixed with orange juice makes for a very fruity-fresh beverage). - The church service didn't start as planned, instead of 10.00 o'clock, it was just before 11.00 o'clock and lasted over two hours. There were many fresh songs. Since the priest is in Addis, a farmer preached very emotionally. A short address was made to us with a greeting. - We are invited by a Church member, that simultaneously has a local office. * He is the one who has been making our wind records for the past two years. * Lunch, (Kollo = toasted barley and chick peas, very palatable kale, lentils and baked starch flour made from the wrong banana). - A strict Sundays silence is valid here, well into the afternoon. - Haptamu, the leader of the Mekane-Yesus-Zentrale Hossana comes to Tula. - Late in the afternoon, we decide to perhaps finish all the work, since we could drive with Haptamu to Hossana and then the following day drive to Addis. - Under high pressure, three masts were erected; the main cable (2x 1x25²) is pulled. Our self- manufactured (and in Ethiopia reproducible), cable suspensions with flat iron, and a split hose-pipe proved to be very practical.

Important conversation with officials from the commune and village development; in the presence of Haptamu / Mekane Yesus

1. Maintenance technician: In accordance to our request, 3 applicants were chosen, who after taking part in technology training, should later take care of the total installation. Of which one (a demand made by us) should be a woman. Together with the woman, who administers micro credits for the commune, is an older man (living near to the E-house), who has been chosen as the "meter reader".

The training should take place in the Workshop of Mekane Yesus in Addis Abeba, since this workshop works is under the same practice. It just remains open "who should finance the training". We make it clear that this should be the responsibility of the commune as well as Mekane Yesus.

We describe the future tasks of the technicians in short:

  • System control of the E-House; Data documentation
  • Maintenance / further extension of the cable net after fixed norms
  • Utilization of workshop yet to be erected.
  • controlled exchange of fuses and repairs

We clearly express, that the reimbursement of the technicians can take place exclusively from the revenues of electricity sales, (no money will therefore flow from Germany for it).

2. Placing of masts: The commune is instructed to, under their own initiative, erect electricity cable masts over 1,7 km , as far as to the school complex, in the course of the year 2013.

3. Building of the E-House: The commune is assigned to build the E-house following our hand drawn plans. Foundation is done. We have already organised corrugated iron, nails, hammers and saw which are in Tula.

4. Recording of all materials remaining in Tula: These were all precisely listed by the commune representative. - Departure and fairwells at sunset. Drive to Hossana.

5. Perspective for the project plans "Tula"

Whether this project plan can be managed in the planned schedule, depends largely on whether the funding is available for the purchase of the components. At this point in time (02/13) we can only hope for further donations.

3-8 2013

- Writing of the import list for Mekane Yesus, (until 3/4 2013), like a revised funding plan, (max. 1/3 MY; 2/3 financed by us), - Procurement of the wind turbine components, solar components, accumulators. - Building of the electronics / electrics. - Composition mast fixtures and guide ropes, with accessories. - Procurement Installation material, energy saving bulbs; house connections; Connection technology; Switches…). - Workshop accessories - Procurement of most of the cables. - Proposition on transportation support with the GIZ - Transportation of the components to Addis Abeba (containers, shipping)

1-2 2014

- Montages of the wind turbine in Tula - Equipment of the E-House (accumulators, electricity components emergency power generator) - Solar installation - Equipment of a workshop in the village - Connection of 20 to 30 houses - Start-up of the installation - Installation of the emergency generators in the churches. - The technician instruction (achievement measurements, wind measurements) - Clarification with Mekane Yesus: Tasks of the electricity cooperative - Tasks for the technicians, maintenance plans, measurement protocol

6. Inspection of the village Debo, (plans about this also in the result report 2012)

Unfortunately due to the unplanned delay in the preparation phase for Tula we lost the time planned for the inspection in Debo. So, it was no longer possible for our group to make the inspection in Debo.

Since Wolde Giorgis Demissie and Holger Schneidereit were planning on staying a little longer in Ethiopia anyway, they could perform an inspection in Debo and could install a new accumulator block, with the means of an electronic prefabricated part which protects against deep discharging. This will give a clear extension of the lifespan of the storage block.

We will soon report about the concept of the utilization of electricity in a training workshop.

Dr. J. Hahn, Rüsseina
Translation: Samantha Lantzsch, Starbach

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