Thursday, 5 January 2017


Volume 5, Issue 3, July - September  2016


  • Chair's Foreword
  • SAES Solar Energy Workshop at Annual Kilombo Conference, Peki, Ghana
  • Earth Science Events
  • References and Selected Reading  

Chair's Foreword
 In the current issue, we report on the Society's Solar Photovoltaics (Solar energy) workshop held in Peki, Ghana on Saturday 17th september 2016.

SAES Solar Energy Workshop at Annual Kilombo Conference, Peki, Ghana
The Society of African Earth Scientists was invited by the Director of Kilombo, Explo Nani Kofi,  back in 2014 to the Kilombo Annual conference on Africans and Social justice, also known as Ghana Street Parliament, to run a workshop on renewable energy.  Due to availability of funds for the trip, this plan did not materialise until september 2016, when the chair of SAES travelled to Ghana to deliver the workshop on behalf of SAES.

The  workshop was delivered to about 40 conference participants of the annual " Ghana Street parliament", organised by Kilombo as a grass roots form of participatory democracy engaging concerns of the local community for discussion on a wide range of issues from GMOs, to foreign intervention, to poverty and justice as portrayed in the Holy Bible and also renewable energy (solar). All of this is as a means of enabling the public to be better informed to make demands of their members of parliament and political parties.

This year SAES delivered a workshop on solar energy, showing how straightforward it is for African communities (even in the most remote locations) to empower themselves with the knowledge to extract their energy from the sun, without the need to depend on the government to do this for them.

The workshop  gave the watts of power used by various  household electrical appliances identified by the audience, with the observation that to decide the capacity of the solar panels we will need for the installation, it was first necessary to know how many watts of power will be consumed by the household appliances we plan to be using. So, for instance, a standing fan required 70 watts of power to run; whislt a fridge might require from 400 – 700 watts. A light, provided it is low emission could operate on as little as 4 or 5 watts or 7 watts.

The workshop then proceeded to explain the key components of the solar electrical system
1) Solar panels (to collect the energy from the sun that will recharge the solar batteries)

2)  Deep cycle rechargeable  batteries ( to store the energy collected from the sunlight)

3) The charge controller (to control  and enable monitoring of the charging of the battery  including the prevention of the discharging of the battery)

4) The power inverter (to convert the direct current (DC) battery power to  the alternating current (AC)  required to run household electrical appliances.

A brief coverage was made of the basics of electricity and electrical safety and the various arrangements (parallel and series)  for solar batteries and solar panels. The workshop was culminated with a practical demonstration of a simple 12 volt solar photovoltaic electrical  system installation. Participants were referred to a copy of a very accessible  solar installation guide by Boxwell[1]. A more comprehensive reference  is a volume by Lucque and Hegedus [2] as detailed below.


1-7 October 2016
8th Conference of the African  Association of Women in the Geosciences
Venue: Sibiu, Romania
VISION: The African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG) is supporting the development of Earth Scientists in Africa by providing opportunities for networking and promoting the application of geosciences for sustainable development. To meet these challenges, AAWG is organizing numerous activities in and out of the African continent. Biannual International Conferences are being organized to address various challenges that the African continent is facing and to which Earth Sciences could make a contribution. In order to strengthen the collaboration between our African and non-African members and also to increase the visibility of the Association, the 8th AAWG Conference is being organized for the first time out of the African continent. To meet these objectives, we choose as a title for the 8th conference "Building bridges between Earth Scientists Worldwide: A Way for Promoting Peace and Strengthening Integration". This conference is organized locally by the Geological Society of Romania and is hosted by Astra National Museum Complex, Sibiu.

31 October – 6 November 2016
African Rift Geothermal Conference (ARGeo)
Venue: Asmara, Eritrea
VISION: Sixth Africa Rift Geothermal Conference in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other support partners…

2-4 December 2016
International Conference on Improving Sustainability Concept in Developing Countries
Venue: Conrad Cairo Hotel, Cairo, Egypt
VISION: International conference…

References and Selected Reading
  1. Boxwell, M., Solar Electricity Handbook 2013 Edition, Greenstream Publishing, 2013.
  2.  Luque, Antonio & Steven Hegedus, Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering - 2nd Edition, Wiley, 2010.
  3. Gupta, S.K., Modern Hydrology and Sustainable Water Development, Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex, 2011.
  4. A link on “Groundwater and Rural Water Supply in Africa”
  5. Link to Journal of African Earth Sciences:

*Board of the Society of African Earth Scientists: Dr Chukwunyere Kamalu (Chair - Nigeria), Osmin Callis (Secretary - Guyana/Nigeria), Ndivhuwo Cecilia Mukosi (South Africa), Mathada Humphrey (South Africa), Dr Enas Ahmed (Egypt).


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