Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania
New Solar Panels Kilimanjaro Transmitter 2
Praise the LORD!
September 17th 2007
On Friday we agreed, that we have to return to our transmittersite on Kilimanjaro on Monday to finish the solar modules. But when I arrived at the studio, Deo told me he could not come with us, since his father suffered a stroke, and he has to bring him to the hospital. The car had a puncture, too, and I had to put the spare tyre first. I contacted Tember and Fundi Macha by SMS and picked them up on the way.
The mountain was covered with clouds which promised some rain when driving up to the transmitter side. We had to pass by the spare tyre at the workshop, then we needed still some clamps and insulating tape to connect the solar panels, and Tember bought us Samosa and Kabu for lunch.
When we reached our camp site, where we leave the car usually, we noticed that the sun was shining, and the dirt road was dry. So we decided to go up by car to save time. After all we did not like to carry the heavy pully and cables we needed today to lower the solar wing. It had been hard for the car, but we really managed to get up to the transmitter site!!
We knew that Jesus helped us, even though the rest of this morning did not look as good. But we relied on Him to help us in His work!
Wearing the safty, climbing belt is a new challenge every time we use it, with so many ropes!
First we had to bring the pully right to the top of the mast. Then we could fix its cable on the end of the solar wing. After Fundi Macha took off the screws of the beams, holding the wings, I could lower it from the top slowly until it was parallel to the antenna mast.
After clearing the holes with the drill, we could pull up one panel after another and rivit them on the lowered wing right from the antenna mast. Work is slow, since every move has to be planned carefully, not to slip down or to drop anything down.
After connecting the new panels we could pull up the solar wing again. Its a bit tricky until all the screws fit again to the beams hoplding the solar wings.
Around 17:00 we finished the work and could drive back to the studio.
September 20th, 2007
Today we went up again to the transmitter site. In the crew were me, Temba and Mrina this time. Since we did not had to lower the solar wing, we did not had to carry the heavy pully. We could fix the remaining panels right from the antenna mast, since they were on the inner part of the solar wing. We went by foot the 1.5 km from the camp to the site, since we had not much to carry, and saved the trouble ruining the car.
We met Sungura, one of thew watchmen, on the way. He told us, he had to bring another one to the hospital for Malaria treatment.
Now we are glad all the stole panels are replaced, and all old batteries are replaced.
Now we can run the transmitter agin on normal power after may years of struggeling! We hope everything will stay there ans serve for many years!
Of course, the power should be even higher to compeat with the new commercial stations around. The next plan is to bring up grid power to this place, since grid power has been moved much closer these days. 10 years ago it was impossible even to think about grid power!!
Having grid power up there would make the batteries last much longer, too.