Schneider promotes solar solution for developing countries

27 April 2010

Schneider Electric has partnered with eleven French organisations to promote the use of solar power to create electricity. The MiCST collaborative project aims to design an innovative solar plant, using sunlight to heat an energy supply powering a thermodynamic machine able to drive an alternator that produces ten electrical kilowatts.

The solution is designed to provide energy to off-grid areas and will be particularly destined to meet the needs of developing countries with strong sunlight. The solution should be easily adopted by local engineers and will be simple to install and to maintain. The major technical and technological challenges are the necessity to take in consideration rigorous criteria of robustness, cost reduction and eco-design.

The 42-month project co-ordinates the expertise of 12 partners, from industry and research. The project is supported by the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME).

As the leader of this project, Schneider Electric has joined forces with the Institut National de
l’Energie Solaire (CEA/INES), Exosun, Sophia-Antipolis Energie Développement, Barriquand
Technologies Thermiques, Défi Systèmes, Stiral, Mecachrome France, the Laboratoire Energétique Mécanique Electromagnétisme (Université Paris Ouest), the Laboratoire d’Energétique et de Mécanique Théorique et Appliquée Nancy, Cedrat Technologie and the G2ELab. The federation of these players forms a national momentum, benefiting of high R&D competencies in thermal solar energy.

“Through the MiCST project, Schneider Electric reaffirms its ambition to contribute to energy access for the 1.6 billion people worldwide who are still excluded, by the means of renewable energies,” explained Gilles Vermot Desroches, senior vice president of Sustainable Development at Schneider Electric.

“By designing a solid solar station, that has the capacity to reduce costs and that is environmentally friendly, we will help the disadvantaged communities in their development.”

The MiCST Project is part of the Schneider Electric’s global sustainable programme called BipBop, (Business, Innovation & People at the base of the pyramid). The programme aims to respond to the needs and requirements of people at the base of the pyramid by offering adapted solutions, developing training in electrical careers and helping entrepreneurs to set up their business around access to energy.

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