In partnership with German non-profit Atmosfair, with funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg, ARE Member Autarsys sets out to bring renewable energy to a refugee camp of 8,500
Berlin, 9 Jan 2018 – ARE Member Autarsys GmbH is set to manufacture an energy storage system (ESS) with software that will transform the way residents of a refugee camp receive power. The intelligent energy management software (iEMS) will enable camp administrators to prioritize and schedule the delivery of power based on residents’ most critical needs. This is essential to securing greater stability to life in a camp where electricity is scarce, and health and education needs are high.
The project will provide energy to Mam Rashan, a refugee camp in the Dohuk district of northern Iraq near the Syrian and Turkish borders. The company’s ESS will be integrated with a 300 kWp photovoltaic (PV) system that will secure a more stable supply of power.
Refugee camps are traditionally powered by diesel generators. Diesel fuel is not only more expensive than renewable energy, but it is dangerous to transport in a region rife with insurgents and a weak rule of law. Not only is the renewable energy system more affordable and safer to own and operate, but it is user-friendly because it arrives in a “plug-and-play” 10-foot high-cube container and its iEMS is amenable to users’ needs.
The current energy supply relies on the local public grid which provides consistent power only at night. The first phase of the project will have the capacity to power one portion of the camp at a time during the day.
Autarsys anticipates that the renewable energy system will be operable by spring 2018. Additional funding in the future may enable expansion of the system.
The project is funded by the German state of Baden-Württemberg and its Foundation for Development and Cooperation (SEZ) and will be overseen by atmosfair, a nonprofit that helps businesses offset their carbon emissions.
“We hope that by increasing the energy independence of Mam Rashan, this technology will improve the quality of life for people residing in the camp. We also look forward to training locals in installation and facility-maintenance skills,” said Matthias Ross, co-founder of Autarsys.
“Our tailored energy management system will have a unique scheduling feature that prioritizes the delivery of power throughout the camp. For example, once the system delivers sufficient energy to the camp’s clinic and school, the residents’ other electricity-related needs can be addressed,” said Erich Bosch, co-founder of Autarsys. “We’re also developing the ESS to ensure that the solar field can provide energy even if the local grid fails.”
"In 2017, a solar project to power a refugee camp and a business start-up project for women each received € 400,000, making significant improvements for local people […] With the help of the Baden-Württemberg project, the camp will receive an uninterruptible power supply from renewable sources,” said Baden-Württemberg Secretary of State Theresa Schopper.