Posted: November 6, 2023

Photo: IEA SHC Solar Academy

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme pursues a multidimensional approach to support the market transformation of solar cooling. This includes training for entrepreneurs from the installation industry and energy experts from administration at a national level. The photo shows solar cooling expert Dr Uli Jakob during a two-day specialized course on the Cape Verde islands, West Africa, in mid-October with a special focus on large-scale solar water heating and solar cooling.

"The successful training of 27 experts from five countries in West Africa was the result of a great collaborative effort between ECREEE -- the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and the IEA SHC Solar Academy", said Werner Weiss, head of the IEA SHC Solar Academy. Weiss has received great support from Guie Guillaume Kouhie, who represents ECREEE within the IEA SHC Programme.

IEA SHC Solar Academy profits member countries

Kouhie appreciated the high standard and very good quality of the technical training: "The professionals who took part received a lot of information that they will be able to use in their businesses", Kouhie added. He sees a great benefit from ECREEE being a member of the IEA SHC Programme if regular training courses are organized. This will mobilize researchers in the region to also join IEA SHC tasks with a special focus on the West African solar thermal sector.

Jakob described the workshop as a great success in introducing solar cooling specific topics to the ECREEE members, with many good discussions. He was also surprised about the fact that CERMI, the Center for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance – which hosted the training – has a 70 kW solar cooling system installed. This was helpful for showing and explaining the various aspects of such systems.

The CERMI staff say they are satisfied with the performance of the solar thermal cooling system, which cools the conference room and other rooms in the building and is backed up by a compression chiller. The collector field consists of flat plate collectors with CPC mirrors (CPC Power ST1), a model from the former Portuguese company MCG. The supplier, however, no longer exists. The system has probably been in operation for 10 years because the absorption chiller was manufactured in August 2013 according to the nameplate.

The training course received high visibility because the participants officially received their certificates at the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF 2023), which took place in the days after the training. It provided an essential dialogue platform for the main national, regional and international players in the energy sector in West Africa. Photo: Solar Academy

ECREEE has been a member of the IEA SHC Programme since 2012 and serves 15 member states in West Africa as a renewable energy and energy efficiency knowledge hub – among them the two small states of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau. ECREEE is headquartered in Cape Verde and engages 40 employees. ECREEE is part of the UNIDO-coordinated Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC). UNIDO agreed to sponsor the participation fee for selected GN-SEC centres in June 2019. Regional Sustainable Energy Centres join IEA SHC | Solarthermalworld

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