Providing Lesotho's Children with Keys to the World

This is the story of our efforts to end the vicious cycle of poverty, disease, inadequate education, and early death
in a remote rural community in Lesotho, Africa, by providing quality education and life skills
to the young children there. Join us on our journey ...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kokobe Electrical System Installation Estimate Goes Up 250%

I'm running into some difficulties getting the electrical system at Kokobe Primary School installed. 

In March, we received a quote of about M40,000 (US$ 4,800) from Ivan Yaholnitsky, of Bethel Business & Community Development Center (BCDC), for installation of a solar-powered electrical system at Kokobe Primary School.  The system would power 50 XO-1 laptops, a network server, and a printer.  It would consist of:
4 - 80 watt PV panels 
2 - 260 Ah batteries 
1 - 20 A regulator 24 volt 
1 - 1200 Watt 24 Volt Victron Inverter
Wiring of classroom plugs, lights
1 -Distribution board and earthing
Travel & installation

Last week, we received a revised quote of  nearly M101,000 (just over US$ 12,000), an increase of 250%.  Yikes! 

We were hoping to get the system installed in the next couple months so it would be ready when we deliver the laptops in January. But I had based my grant proposals and fundraising on the March estimate, so we are now well short of the necessary funds.

Granted, the new estimate is for a MUCH larger system (see below), but we didn't request that.  When I asked Ivan if we could install the original plan instead, he snipped that I should go to someone else.  However, finding someone else, especially on somewhat short notice, who will work in the remote Ketane area may be very difficult.

At this point, I'm not sure what is going to happen.

- Janissa

October proposed system:
Wiring of Classroom Block 
4 - PV Panels  140 watt 
4 - Batteries 260 Ah 
Victron Inverter 3KW
Regulator 40-60 Ah 
120 amp DC isolator/breaker
2 - 60 amp DC isolator/breaker 
PV Junction Box 
4 - 120 amp copper cabling 
18 - 40 amp copper cabling 
Panel box for isolator/breakers
Battery case/stack
2 - Lightening Protection 
Earthing kit for modules 
Array frame and mounting
Customs clearance of equip