How it works
The solar panels are generally mounted on rooftops. For small-scale installations and moderate distances (up to some 15 m) low voltage DC powered LEDs can be used; otherwise a DC to AC converter powering conventional AC electric bulbs is more efficient.
How you benefit
Solar lighting works independently of the power grid and its possible power cuts, and also without fuel. Even in cloudy day-time weather, solar lighting can provide several hours of electrical light every night, with operating hours depending on panel size and battery capacity. With solar lighting, you can work, read, study, do your homework… in the evening hours with no damage to your eyesight. Properly designed, a solar lighting installation can also power or recharge other electrical products, such as notebooks and mobile phones. Together with a simple movement detector, solar lighting is a good protection against night-time burglary.
How much it costs
The cost of a solar installation of course depends on the actual requirements of the customer (number and type of lamps, power supply for additional devices such as television sets or computers, number of operating hours per day…). A small-scale installation for a simple house includes one 30 W panel, three power saving 5-Watt LEDs, a battery, cabling, a supporting frame, some accessories and a power controller, for a total price of around 120,000 CFA (€180). For more spacious accommodations, such as teacher quarters or a classroom, with more powerful lamps and a much higher power consumption, the price range is from 300,000 to 1,300,000 CFA (€500 to €2000). While the prices of other components are quite stable, solar panels are becoming cheaper every year, and have reached a level of 800 CFA (1,22€) per Watt. The useful life of solar panels is in the range of 10 to 20 years, almost free of maintenance. The batteries also require only minimal maintenance (in some cases, a refill of distilled water once every six months), and their useful life is between 3 and 10 years. It is also quite possible to start with a modest installation, and to expand it step by step. Finally, Solafrique also offers customers with rented accommodation their support in relocating the solar installation.
What we deliver
Solafrique takes charge of all aspects of the project, including installation and testing. All our products are covered with a 12-month guarantee, and we offer an additional service with periodic maintenance checks.
What we need to know
When ordering a solar lighting installation, a very clear picture of how it will be used is needed: the number of light bulbs and their power, the number of hours of lighting per day/month, possible additional equipment to be powered (television set, refrigerator, computer etc). All this has a direct impact on the design and cost of the solar lighting installation.
Solafrique can take care not only of installation, but also of after sales service and on-site repairs. The company has a good track record of using high-quality material, with a guaranteed useful life, provided by the professional European partner companies. Solafrique has already implemented several large-scale solar lighting projects (community lodgings, schools, clinics, monasteries, churches). Burkina Faso does not yet have an infrastructure for the proper recycling of batteries, but Solafrique guarantees an ecologically sound recycling of the batteries it takes back.