Design And Installation: Solar Power For a Community

Design & Install Solar Power For Entire Community In Africa

Executive Summary:

Design and Installation of Solar Power Serving A Community Including House Of Worship. Type: Grid Connected Solar Rooftop + Storage. Location:  Kinshasa, D.R.Congo. Energy : 100,000 Wh/day. Payback: 8,2 years. Cost Savings: 17% over system life. GHG avoidance: 629 MT= 132 cars off the road. Avoided CO2 of 70,802 gallons of gasoline.


The community site comprised two residential building structures and a religious dwelling in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The utility company power was not reliable with daily outages lasting 4 hours.

The community had been using a backup diesel generator which incurred high operating cost and was loud. So the community leader hired SMIN Power Group to provide an energy solution that was reliable, cost effective and quiet.

Kinshasa 1First, SMIN Power Group conducted a detailed site visit and interviewed the customer to assess all the needs. Next, SMIN Power Group designed a community energy storage with primary feed from the grid, secondary feed from a rooftop PV, and a backup diesel generator. The community energy storage consisted of a battery bank with (32) 200Ah/12V deep cycle battery cells, a 4.3 kWp rooftop PV, (3) charge-controller with MPPT, (4) 5000W inverters, and the control system.

SMIN power Group also increased the energy efficiency by upgrading lighting. Plus, we developed the cost estimate. SMIN Power Group installed the community energy storage on time and within budget. Long term, the system reduces energy costs by 17% for the community. Our solution is a one-time investment and has a payback of 8,2 years. After this time the community will have free electricity!
Our solution provides clean, reliable, cost effective and quiet electricity for the customer. SMIN Power Group is helping the community fight climate change to preserve the Earth for future generations. SMIN Power Group designed and installed a system that will avoid 629 Metric Tons of greenhouse gas emissions over 25 years.

According to the USA Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing 132 cars off the road for a year. It is also equivalent to avoid the CO2 emissions from 70,802 gallons of gasoline.

Solar Power Engineering LogoDownload PDF Document: PP_EN_Community Energy Storage_DRC_Complete

Entrepreneurial Experience

  1. SMIN Power Group, (09/2011-Present) Founder and Chief Executive Officer
  • Founded SMIN Power Group LLC in the state of Ohio, USA in 2011. Led efforts from the business plan development to the state registration process.
  • SMIN Power Group focuses on designing and installing renewable energy systems. It also provides energy management and power management services so that people can better their life.
  • Expanded presence in Africa, by opening a registered office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2013. Since then, efforts have been focused on introducing more photovoltaic systems in Africa.
  • In 2017, SMIN Power Group was named Top 5 Innovators for bringing renewable energy in DRC by the Congo Na Paris magazine.
  • Positioned SMIN Power Group as a leader in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a scholarship program to encourage six (6) students to study STEM so they can be better equipped to fight climate change.
  • Directs global business operation, market penetration efforts and partnership strategies, which has resulted in successfully working with private high schools, communities, media outlet, and individuals.
  • Provides technical expertise in photovoltaic system design and integration, renewable energy systems, energy management, power distribution, sustainability, educational strategies and community outreach approaches.

Selected Professional Experience

 2.     University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA (05/2012-06/2017) Manager, Electrical Engineering

  • Assisted in managing a budget totaling $65 million dollars for campus utility use and 8 million square feet of campus infrastructure as the only Electrical Engineer in the department of Facilities and Construction.
  • Saved over $5 million dollars in utility costs through various energy management projects.
  • Generated revenue in excess of 200,000 dollars through energy efficiency rebate checks. Part of it funded the SEED scholarship to encourage student who promote sustainability on campus.
  • One of three co-founders of the University of Toledo’s Sustainability Energy Efficiency and Design (SEED) initiative.
  • Managed the building automation team.
  • Managed energy related and electrical engineering activities for University Facilities and Construction.
  • Provided comprehensive electrical engineering services for the University including operations, capital improvement projects, new construction, and energy management. The focus of engineering activities were on sustainability, and energy management in current and future construction and maintenance.
  • Managed the variable frequency drives program which was cited as a good example in the 2014 and 2015 State Efficiency Report for Ohio.
  • Designer and Project Manager for $ 2 million dollars Campus Energy Cost Reduction project (lighting phase) across over 30 buildings on all campuses in an effort to reduce energy consumption while keeping customer comfortable.
  • Initiator for utility scale (250KW) fuel cell installation project with a potential donation worth $1 million dollars ad partnership with the College of Engineering.
  • Managed state certification and inspection program for over 112 boilers across all campuses.Managed university metering program (about 165 meters) which included hardware maintenance, communication network, data integration, and administration of two (2) real time websites.
  • Assisted Director with community development, energy projects, student involvement and projects, energy website, and developing new and unique ways to reduce campus energy use or improve its efficiency.

3.   SSOE Group, Toledo, Ohio, USA (12/2009-05/2012) Electrical Engineer

 American Municipal Power, Columbus, Ohio

  • Designed a 4.2MW DC, 12.470KV solar field in Napoleon, Ohio per Fig.1. The installation consists of (17,140) mono-crystalline photovoltaic modules, (24) inverters, and (6) medium voltage transformers.
  • Total project cost of 10 million dollar.
  • Evaluated options for electrical interconnection to the City of Napoleon and provide information for the PUCO Application for Certification as an eligible Ohio Resource Generating facility.
  • Prepared bidding documents and evaluate bids for equipment contract and electrical installation contract.

Medical College Company, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Project Engineer for the electrical installation of one (1) new 100,000 PPH natural gas-fired package boiler and auxiliary equipment. Developed power, lighting, instrumentation, control, and field wiring for new installation. Developed interconnection wiring between the boiler control panel and the burner management system.
  • Project Engineer for electrical installation of a new water treatment system.

OneEnergy Renewables, Portland, Oregon

  • Initially OneEnergy Renewables required engineering assistance to support the submission of an interconnection application to PJM for two(2) photovoltaic (PV) array installations. The client was so satisfied with the work done that they came back with repeat business. A total of four (4) applications.
  • 20MW, 3Ph, 69KV, (16,224) Solarworld 250 mono modules, PVPowered inverters (19.5 MW max)
  • 20MW, 3Ph, 69KV, (16,224) Solarworld 250 mono modules, PVPowered inverters (19.5 MW max).
  • 4MW, 3Ph, 12.470KV, (16,224) Solarworld 250 mono modules, PVPowered inverters (3.38MW max).
  • 2MW, 3Ph, 12.470KV, (8,064) Solarword 250 mono modules, PVPowered invereters (1.82MW max).
  • Provided sealed single-line drawings for each of the PV installations depicting the installation from the inverter to the Point of Interconnection (POC) with the utility. Worked with PJM to determine appropriate forms to complete.
  • Provided OneEnergy Renewables with information required to complete the Feasibility Study data online form and Attachment N form.

American Electric Power Cardinal Plant Units 1, 2 and 3, Brilliant, Ohio

  • Reviewed AEP’s arc flash calculations and determined the overall scope to successfully mitigate the incident energy levels greater than or equal to 37 calories / cm 2  mostly by using SEL 751A relays.
  • Reviewed AEP’s arc flash calculations and determined the overall scope to mitigate the circuit breakers that are under-rated with respect to short circuit current interrupting capacities, for those breakers where incident energy levels are greater than or equal to 37 calories / cm 2.
  • Generated a written report containing proposed solutions to mitigate arc flash on a bus / circuit breaker basis, including proposed one-line diagram updates.
  • Generated protective relay settings for (32) SEL 751A relays and programming using Easypower and AcSELerator.

City of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ohio

  • Developed relay settings for (3) new substations using AcSELerator. Developed settings for approximately (66) SEL devices including SEL 351-7, 551C, 387, 311L, 351A relays and for the SEL 2032 Communication Processors. Coordinated relays and protective devices using Paladin DesignBase2.
  • Developed a Microsoft Access based application called Circuit Tabs. Circuit Tabs is an application which generates various reports such as cable and termination schedule, raceway schedule, cable type list, and equipment list. Once the user has filled the data entry forms, Circuit Tabs calculates the total number of cables and the total cross-sectional area of cables for each raceway. It then selects the appropriate raceway size based on the National Electrical Code. Circuit Tabs also allows the user to overwrite raceway sizes. It automatically shows the circuits that share the same multi-conductor cable, all the circuits that are in a specific raceway, and the route for each circuit.

Ohio Veterans Home, Sandusky, Ohio

  • Designed the electrical system for new mechanical room in HVAC System Upgrade, Veteran’s Hall project. The electrical system included 480V distribution panel and feeders, variable frequency drives, motor starters, emergency lights and lighting. Performed load calculations and equipment sizing. Visited the site. Gave directions to the CAD operator for the electrical drawings.
  • Developed electrical specifications using MasterSpec 2004 format. Developed cost estimate for the electrical system. Reviewed electrical contractor shop drawings and cost estimate for change orders.

City of Dover, Dover, Ohio

  • Performed arc flash study for the entire city of Dover, Ohio and issued recommendations to mitigate arc flash.
  • Performed protective device coordination study and issued recommendations.
  • Performed relay coordination for new recloser at Dover.
  • Maintained checklist for North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) documents. Wrote and/or updated NERC policies/procedures for Dover. Completed pre-audit documents for the NERC audit.
  • Sized capacitor banks for power factor correction of feeders.

Power & Energy Group Internal Auditor (ISO 9001-2008)

  • Conducted quarterly audits, per the corporate audit schedule, prepared audit reports and submitted before the quarterly Quality System Steering Committee (QSSC) meeting dates.
  • Assisted other staff members and answered any questions or concerns they may have about the QS policies and procedures and compliance requirements
  • Supported PM’s within the SBU/Branch office, helping them as needed with issues involving QS compliance
  • Coordinated with SBU Quality System representative (QSR) to determine audit schedule and projects to be audited in the group.
  • Conducted audit(s), prepared the audit report and discussed any concerns or observations that require attention, with the SBU QSR.
  • Provided list of any issues that may require corporate wide attention to the SBU QSR for her/him to present in the quarterly QSSC meeting.
  • Identified any training requirements that may help the group and coordinates with the SBU QSR to arrange for such training.
  • Supported and encouraged others in the group to follow Quality System requirements.

4.   Orbital Technical Solutions, LLC, Toledo, Ohio, USA, (10/2008- 12/2009 Merged with SSOE) Electrical Engineer

 American Municipal Power, Ohio

  • Supported AMP for installation of satellite-based SCADA communication system across 21 sites in the US. Documented progress and posted documents on the project FTP site.
  • Conducted site surveys. Issued field trip reports and survey forms. Designed communication system integration for each site. Issued detailed scope of work including an equipment list. Co-wrote weekly update for the AMP / OTS team. Supervised electrical contractor during installation. Developed as-built instruction manual. Sketched drawings for each installation. Supervised the CAD operator to produce the drawings from sketches.
  • Supported AMP in resolving communication issues with four meters. Investigated problem meter sites to determine cause of communication problems. Issued field trip reports and survey forms. Issued recommendations to test / replace failed equipment.

Consumers Energy, Erie, Michigan

  • Supported the upgrade to a distributed control system. Compiled list of analog and digital inputs / outputs for the distributed control system.
  • Maintained drawing requests and indexes. Generated loop drawings for various electrical equipments. Double-checked shop drawings.

5.   FirstEnergy Corporation / Toledo Edison, Toledo, Ohio(02/2006-12/2006) Assistant Engineer

  • Completed circuit analysis for local substation area and developed plan for capacity relief.
  • Created circuit models and reconfigured nine feeders to relieve possible overloads on four substation transformers.
  • Assisted engineer in field checking 181 transformers installations to verify AM / FM accuracy.
  • Issued work request to initiate transformer change outs. Reviewed and processed distributed generation applications (solar and wind) insuring that the new installation met First Energy protection requirements. Developed switch out configurations for substation transformer outages.

6.   Advanced Distributed Generation, LLC, Toledo, Ohio, USA (01/2005-02/2006) Photovoltaic Systems Designer/Integrator Apprentice

  • Designed or / and installed photovoltaic (PV) systems in the Toledo area.
  • Performed engineering calculations for alternative energy system on DC and AC current.
  • Developed design sketches, material list and estimated cost of PV system.
  • Integrated power generation system and electrical components including inverter, DC and AC disconnect and combiner box.

7.   General Electric Consumer and Industrial, Fort Wayne, Indiana (09/2002-05/2004) Cooperative Education Student

  • Supported the GE Motors Sales Force (33 members) and assumed co-leadership roles for customer productivity project.
  • Coordinated major customer product teardown with potential savings of $15 million per year.
  • Developed and established a customer Dashboard process for Commercial AC Business. Automated data collection process for customer inventory. Improved and simplified data collection tool to allow global plants access.
  • Researched market opportunity in states that promote energy conservation for highly efficient 58mm ECM motor retrofit.
  • Dynamometer tested 270 production pilot run motors for stator flux interference, which led to a design improvement and reduced the failure rate by 50%.
  • Participated in a training class on regulatory agency approval process for Underwriter Laboratory (UL).
  • Performed the competitive analysis teardown of more than 17 motors.
  • Improved communication skills with global teams when working on global transition project (China and Mexico).
  • Maintained commercial AC motor sample flow by tracking 109 samples through design, build and test phases. Led HHJ fan cover supplier approval with productivity of $30,000.00.
  • Assisted application engineers with quality, cost out and improvement projects through completion. Supported the US (Taylor Street plant) to Mexico (Juarez, CASA plant) motor transition projects. Led meetings with the plant in Mexico and the customer to insure corrective action of oil leak issue.