After more than a week and a half working in Buntung we were able to meet most of our targets.
Due to very limited internet resources I was not able to give any updates. All three operators only offer EDGE internet, what basically means you just have anough capacity to send text messages over whatsapp, and even that with a few users becomes a problem, not to mention what happens if some friends send us pictures or Kurt uploads 5 pictures…
After arriving in Buntung after a 9 days trip of 6200 km with no technical issues or other things apart from a serious border incident at the Senegalese entrance in Diamma where they tried to rip us 250 euros, we started dismantling our trailer. To our surprise NONE of the 9 panels got damaged, even not in the very rough last 100 km before the Gambian border.
We first installed a single 190W panel at the Kerr Pedro main building to supply power to the radios and computer/phones. The new chinese made 30 euro charging controller with 2 built in USB ports turned out to be very helpful.
Then we assembled a set of two 190W panels with a MPPT controller and we did some charging measurements to compare with a traditional PWM controller. The difference was huge. More than 50% more charging current coming from the MPPT system. The panels were mounted under a 30 degrees angle an the remaining ciment from the outer shelve of the houses was used to fix them firmly into the hard soil against wind and theft.
During the visit to the nearest (70 km) town Farefenni we bought a new wheelbarrow as the old (also chinese) one got damaged. We also bought a few Mahoganey wood sticks to make an assembly for the other solar panels.
The 9 panels on the trailer were divided into two groups of 4, and the remaining panel that already got slightly damaged in Belgium was installed on the roof of the Alex residence to privide light during the night inside.
Twe first group of 4 x 80W panels was installed next to a traditional house close to the well in the form of a Bantaba sun cover, on 1,7 m high sticks. Temporarely only led lights was attached as we still need to bring a multi USB charger from Europe next time, to provide more charging points that are not behind locks, as we found out the Chief is misusing the power of the fact that the very first 100W system is behind a door. We wanted to break this so the Kerr Pedro 2x190W system is in the open and available to all. Next time we will also install the second 4 panel system will be installed on the very other edge of the village so in future they all will be able to draw wires to the individual homes for light.
I would like to end by mentioning we still need support to buy two more batteries and led strips to be able to accomplish this. If you want to contribute please make use of the paypal button on the website.