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Our Stories

CRMF involved in the largest solar installation

by | Aug 30, 2019 | Solar Installation, What CRMF Does

All our CRMF Electronics Technicians David, Lukas, Gollinson and Simeon recently took a 4 to 5 hours’ bumpy drive from Goroka (EHP) to Hagen (WHP) and spent two days in Hagen to re-check the VHF radios and realign the VSAT at the MAF Hagen base at the Kagamuga Airport. After the two days in Hagen the team split up.Both Gollinson Wena and Simeon Tom took a three hours trip from Hagen to Wabag town whiles David Feka, Lukas Schadegg and Micheal Gena an (IT) Technician from MAF Hagen went around via MAF to various MAF remote sites to install new VSAT and realign existing ones to a new satellite before they (David and Lukas) could meet up with the solar team at Kompiam Hospital.

The trip from Hagen to Wabag town was a smooth ride for our team, compared to the deteriorating road conditions and the 5 hours of non-stop bumpy ride from Goroka to Hagen. As a result, they were able to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and take in the spectacular views of the endless layers of rugged Blue Mountains.

After another one-hour drive from Wabag, our team finally arrived at the Kompiam Rural Hospital base at Kompiam station which is situated deep in the remote north of Enga Province and is also listed as one of the most disadvantaged in PNG because of the damaging effects and fear of tribal fights that continue to take place there.

Noticing the lack of development, CRMF Technician, Gollinson Wena said, “The people of Kompiam Ambum live in tribes and the lands are owned by individual tribes. Due to tribal fights there is not much development in the form of permanent houses, stores etc because they are always targeted and burnt down during tribal fights. The only progress and sign of development is in Wapenamanda which is the first Engan district that you pass through from Hagen via the road network…”

The Kompiam Rural Hospital is the only area in Kompiam that is left untouched during the tribal disputes and it is also seen to be the only form of development that identifies Kompiam as a district headquarter. On this trip, CRMF Technicians roles were to assist Ryan and Bill Gram Wright with the installation of the 80 Kilowatts (KW) of solar power, 8000 AHR of Battery Capacity and 52KW of Battery Backup SMA inverters. For this 80KW of Solar Power System our team installed a total of 220 (350W) solar panel altogether.

Both Ryan and Bill Gram Wright are from the USA and are the specialists behind the whole Solar Project. This project was funded by the Engan Provincial Government and was initiated by Dr. David Mills who is the Medical Superintendent and ‘’father’’ of Kompiam Rural Hospital. It was the largest solar installation, to date that our technician team has ever worked on.

A 4x Tri Power SMA inverter that can cater a 80KW solar power.

Technicians installing panels and rails on the roof.

During the process of the installation it rained quite a lot, preventing the team to work on the roof. But despite this and other minor setback, our team tirelessly worked with Ryan and Bill within the project time frame of three weeks to successfully complete the installation of the whole system. The commissioning of the Solar System was later done by Bill .G. Wright, Ryan and Roger an Australian Electrical Engineer who later joined the Solar Team during the installation process (just after the following weeks when our team left Kompiam to return to Goroka).

This installation means so much to the patients and staff of the Kompiam Rural Hospital and residents around there because prior to the solar installation,the hospital only had 20 KW of solar and 18 KW of battery backup and a backup generator, but that was not sufficient for the growing needs of the facility. The back up Generator only runs from 6pm -10pm at night time to supply power to the hospital and the staff houses and when the generator ran out of fuel, they would have to buy more fuel which was quite expensive. But that’s all changed now,“ Despite being in a remote area, the staff houses from having AC power only in the past from 6pm-10pm at night, have now full access to clean AC power 24/7,and also the hospital facilities have now enough additional power to operate which tremendously cuts the Hospital expanses on Generator fuel and Maintenance.’’ CRMF Technician, Gollinson Wena said.

This are two out of a total of three clusters of Sunny Islands SMA inverters altogether for the 80KW Solar Power System.

The complete installation of the 220 x 350w panels on the roof which house the hospitals operating theater.

This was not the only large installation that our technician team were involved in, but this marked a historic moment for Kompiam and PNG by being the first Hospital in Papua New Guinea to be fully powered by solar power.

There is a need for solar installations in PNG and especially in the remote communities of PNG as solar power is the best solution for our remote communities living without reliable sources of power for light and to operate many devices.This installation has encouraged and motivated other health organizations within Enga who want to have a similar set-up and there is already a high demand from other people in Enga who have enquired about the solar installation. 

We are grateful to God, all our CRMF technical team could be a part of this installation as it has provided a platform for CRMF to play a small but significant part in realising our National Vision for 2050 to encourage the use of clean energy by cutting down on our reliance on fossil fuels and instead, use power that’s already available and generated by our God-given renewable resources. We praise God that He is expanding CRMF’s role and service as His hands and feet by opening doors and opportunities to serve our country in different areas and we do all of this for His glory and praise.