To date, SolarAid has installed 70 of the donated solar modules onto the roofs of 14 health facilities in the Iringa region of central Tanzania. According to SolarAid (www.solar-aid.org)
“The donation from TÜV Rheinland PTL is enabling us to have a direct and positive impact on rural Tanzanian communities, which do not benefit from grid electricity. Together with these communities, SolarAid designs systems that improve the services available at key institutions, such as bringing light to rural health centers that serve villages for miles around,” said John Keane, Head of Programmes at SolarAid.
TÜV Rheinland PTL has been donating modules to individuals and organizations for 12 years. These modules no longer have commercial value after completing a cycle of qualification and engineering testing at TÜV Rheinland PTL’s photovoltaic testing laboratory in Tempe, Arizona. Per an agreement with the manufacturers, TÜV Rheinland PTL recycles the tested panels for educational or nonprofit purposes, primarily to expand awareness and share the benefits of renewable energy.
“We are very happy to see our donated solar photovoltaic modules being used to help the Tanzanian communities,”
Over 85 percent of Tanzanians have no access to electricity, primarily relying on wood and charcoal for cooking, kerosene and candles for lighting, and disposable batteries for radios and other handheld electrical devices. More than one-third of the population lives below the national poverty line, further limiting their ability to attain clean, safe and reliable forms of energy.
According to SolarAid, many of the health facilities have been using battery-powered torches as examination lights and illuminating rooms with dimly lit kerosene-filled tins. With solar energy, the clinics have expanded to a 24-hour operation and increased their ability to save lives and reduce illness.
Among the immediate benefits of switching to solar energy is the elimination of kerosene from homes and clinics alike. Kerosene fumes emit a toxic smoke that, when inhaled, can lead to a lethal respiratory disease – among the leading causes of death in Tanzania. The World Bank says breathing in kerosene fumes is like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.
The donated modules were made by a variety of manufacturers including Soluxia; Canadian Solar Inc; Mitsubishi; Boading Tainwei; MSK; Suntech; Brightwatts;
For more information, visit www.tuvptl.com or call TÜVRheinland®
About TÜV Rheinland PTL, LLC
Based in Tempe, Ariz., TÜV Rheinland PTL, LLC is a leading provider of safety and performance testing, and market certification serving every sector of the photovoltaic and solar thermal marketplace, from the supply chain through installation. TÜV Rheinland PTL is a unique partnership between Arizona State University, an institution with more than 50 years of research on solar energy and extensive solar testing know-how, and TÜVRheinland®
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