July 10 2014

Communities in the Amazon Use Solar Power to Watch the World Cup

Isolated communities in the interior of the Amazon are now able to watch the games of the World Cup, especially to support the Brazilian team, which is something that was unthinkable for decades. The community of the Sobrado in the city of New Airão, is an example. Villagers were fortunate enough to watch the opening game of the national team, and were able to celebrate Brazil’s victory. In the words of Professor Daniele Sena, “Never could we imagine we’d have these happy moments. The Light for All program is providing an improved quality of life, advances in education, internet access and the possibility of continuous access to information.

The Community gathers to watch the World Cup on televisions powered by solar power.

The project, developed by the Federal Government, is called the Light for All Program (LPT) and uses cells that capture solar energy and convert it into electrical energy. The program also has mini networks for energy distribution, remote metering and a function for billing with a prepayment system.

In total, 12 mini plants were implanted in the cities of New Airão in the Metropolitan Region of Manaus: Autazes, Barcelos, Beruri, Eirunepé and Maués. Currently, all systems are in good working order. The winner of the contest consortium is composed of the firms of Guascor and Kyocera. Approved by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), the project is currently the only running program that uses renewable energy resources generated by the Light for All Program. This is an innovative pilot project to generate electricity in isolated communities by measuring potential commercial revenue, and is the first project of this kind to be approved by the MME and Eletrobras.

The system is designed to support two days without capturing sunlight. Moreover, it is modular, meaning that where there is an increased demand for energy, a new block generator can be installed in the distribution system, allowing for an increase in electricity consumption caused by the development community.

In order for the prepay system to work, consumers buy a ticket with a number printed on it at the nearest grocery store, which entitles them to 30 kW / h for R $5.70 at market price. Then the consumer must enter the number on the meter and calculate the amount of residential use that will be consumed. “When you miss a certain number of kW / h, which is set for the end of the account, the system alerts you with beeps and a blinking light on the meter, enabling the consumer to buy more credits without interrupting the power supply,” Geraldo Vasconcelos explains, one of the engineers of Eletrobras Amazonas Energia, who developed the project.

An example of another solar energy project in Brazil.

At the home of Mr. José Ferreira, the whole family gathered to watch the game and cheer for the victory of Brazil. “It is wonderful to enjoy this event. We are very happy to be able to enjoy the benefits of electricity. Sometimes we have specific technical problems that are readily communicated to the Amazonas Energia and the technicians help us according to their capabilities. The important thing is that now we are watching the game and are able to show our support to the Brazilian team,” he celebrates.

Does your community use solar power to provide electricity?

Original article, originally published in Portuguese, can be found here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Nora Lamm

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nora grew up surrounded by the varied architectural styles and geographies of the Southwest U.S. After graduating from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Geography, Nora moved to Washington, D.C. to work in the affordable housing industry. After studying Portuguese and Spanish and traveling in the southern cone of South America, Nora is looking forward to providing the readers and followers of The Grid with translations of Brazilian blogs that provide the most insightful and local perspectives related to environmental design.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 9:55 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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