Solar thermal success story: Maru-a-Pula school hostels

Botswana

Submitted by Kevin Nwaigwe
Published 3 months, 1 week ago

Maru-a-Pula is a co-educational, independent day and boarding secondary school which was founded in 1972 and established as a non-profit trust. It was built on 50 acres of land donated by the Botswana Government with facilities that consume a significant amount of electricity. As part of lessening its carbon footprint, saving costs and in order to encourage the adoption of solar energy as a source power for heating water used by boarding students, two solar installations were carried out at both the boys and girls boarding houses.

Solar collectors on roof of boys hostel

The systems were installed in 2018 with electrical backup and have a combined solar yield of 55.87 MWh per year and are responsible for the reduction in CO2 emissions of 19,324.44 kilograms per annum.

The installation has performed extremely well and has needed minimal maintenance. This is in line with the school's sustainability policy of going green and becoming more energy efficient.

With the increase in electricity tariffs by Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) this year, the school is incurring a 3% increase for both energy charge and demand charge, but this is offset to some degree by the solar yield received from the two solar installations, especially during winter months where hot water usage is higher.

With a BPC Energy charge of P0.8107/kWh, and a combined solar yield of 55,870kWh,  the solar installations save P45,293.80 per year.

Maru-a-Pula school entrance