Project Date
01/07/2017 - 01/09/2018

Type of plant



Group 50Peak Power

238 kWp

Group 48Storage capacity

330 kWh


Difficulty in accessing basic services, such as electricity and drinking water supply is one of the of the factors most closely related to poverty and health problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is why interventions such as the one carried out at the Catholic Church of Massawa, Eritrea, which also manages the Casa San Francesco Gherar orphanage, are an intelligent solution that allows the use of abundant resources such as sun and salt water through state-of-the-art technological installations.

ESI SpA, called as EPC to carry out the intervention financed by ASPE Onlus and by a private donor, installed a 40 kWp photovoltaic system equipped with lithium batteries with a capacity of 48 kWh. The system is capable of automatically switching from a “connected to the national electricity grid” to a back-up mode, in the frequent cases in which the grid is not present. Battery management allows you to automatically charge them through photovoltaic energy or, in the case of very low state of charge, through the network, if this is present.

Monitoring through dedicated interfaces allows an instant assessment of energy flows and balances of energy produced, stored and consumed. The internet connection allows remote real-time monitoring of the system itself.

The same photovoltaic system supplies energy to the desalination plant provided by Sireg Hydros, capable of returning up to 1,500 liters of drinking water per hour. The reverse osmosis purification plant consists of a submersible pump that draws brackish water from a specially dug well, two pumps operating at different pressures, different stages of filtration and sweetening, including quartz and anthracite sand filters and cartridge, treatment anti-limestone, chlorination and remineralization, as well as tanks for the special washing of the membranes, electrical panel and monitoring of water characteristics.

The plant is mainly contained in a 40-foot shelter pre-assembled in Italy. The shelter houses both the purification station and the BoS components of the photovoltaic system (inverter, batteries, main electrical panel). The panels are mounted both on the container itself and on a galvanized steel structure specially designed to shade an existing building.

These solutions respond specifically to the needs of contexts with poor access to basic services, are of fundamental importance and are a field where ESI SpA today represents a reality with strong experience and ability to adapt.