meeco América Latina finalizes first off-grid installation in Paraguay




December 16, 2011


10:44 am


4 kWp solar, 16 kWh storage project and collaboration with Everest Ingeniería SRL for water pumping

meeco América Latina S.A., the Asunción-based and fully owned subsidiary of The meeco Group, has finalized its very first solar powered off-grid installation in South America and the first of its kind in Paraguay. A local cattle breading company Riacho-í S.A., contracted meeco for the project located near Rio Verde, in the Chaco region, Presidente Hayes province. While this system will be used for demonstration purposes and research, it also supplies daytime and nighttime power directly to the main farm offices, significantly reducing its fuel costs.
The Riacho-í site is equipped with 4 kWp of solar photovoltaic polycrystalline modules, mounted on a dedicated meeco-designed fixed structure which deliver power to the storage and control unit situated in the AlkubeTM, a thermal-insulated aluminum housing also developed by the meeco Engineering team. Top-tier components were selected for this off-grid project, including STECA charge controller, Studer inverter and Sonnenschein GEL batteries. The 4 kWp installation represents a big step into greening the farm’s energy sources, saving well over 5 tons of CO2 emissions per year in comparison to the equivalent emissions of a diesel generator.
Additionally, meeco América Latina also introduced a new concept, a 1.4 kWp mobile system that can either be used for remote use or coupled with the existing 4 kWp system installed at Riacho-í. Dr. Oliver Jann, President of meeco América Latina S.A., explains: ‘we created a “combination” system, with fixed and mobile components. When combined, these two components increase overall energy production for a fixed site. The mobile component, however, is mounted on a trailer and can therefore be used for other applications when necessary.’
One of the first applications for this mobile unit in Paraguay is solar water pumping. To provide a turnkey solution, meeco América Latina is working with Everest Ingeniería SRL, a local engineering company and representative of well-known Grundfos pumps. At Riacho-í, meeco combined the mobile solar energy generator with an SQFlex pump to remotely pump water and directly fill water reservoirs. The result is an all-in-one mobile pumping station that pumps up to 18 cubic meters of water per hour. Engineer Jorge Roa, General Manager of Everest Ingeniería SRL, explains that his ‘company his currently promoting the GRUNDFOS solar water pumping systems, which are already being widely used in the region (Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina) and have proven to be excellent for potable water pumping, cattle water, transfer from water reservoirs into tanks, irrigation systems in open channels and other remote applications. This solution is a great alternative to fuel-based systems and its payback period is rather short.’ On the strategic partnership with meeco, Roa adds ‘we benefit from meeco’s solar module procurement capabilities and installation expertise, and combine them with the flexible water pumping systems such as the GRUNDFOS SQFlex, that will eventually be installed in remote areas where traditional power supply sources are not available.’
In the upcoming months, meeco América Latina will expand its range of mobile and fixed water pumping systems while also participating in a second off-grid installation involving a public renewable energy supply project.

Find below some impressions of the Riacho-í site (Photos by Dr. Gunther Pratz):

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