In Tanzania’s Serengeti on top of a hill you’ll find Lahia Tented Lodge, a brand new luxury resort with a magnificent view. Equally amazing is the fact that it’s the first accommodation in Africa’s best safari park to run entirely on solar electricity. Not just for heating water and burning lights, but the whole place, from the giant pumps supplying fresh water, up to the equipment for the infinity pool.
No more diesel generators using over a hundred liters of fuel each day, exhausting noise and toxic fumes, but an advanced off-grid large-scale eco-friendly solar system. A plant of 488 panels harvests energy during the day to power the entire property and load a bank of 20 MG HE Series lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 150 kWh to keep providing energy, long after the sun sets on the Serengeti.
It’s our first system to run in parallel redundant mode, which means several strings of batteries are connected in parallel and set up to control the Victron inverter/chargers through a digital link. Even in the event one battery string should fail, the installation will keep on running on the remaining ones. In case of an emergency or maintenance a back-up generator will seamlessly kick in.
It’s a proof of concept for the tourist industry that it can be done and this is how. While small solar systems are in wide use, most of them store their energy in lead-acid battery banks, which are limited in (dis)charge capacity. Put to heavy use in tough condition like these they only last a few years. This lithium-ion system is strong enough to power an entire off-grid tourist resort for at least a decade or more.
This system was commissioned in close cooperation with Anco van Bergeijk and our local dealer Gadgetronix.