Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Internship Report of Mr. Yoosuf Ashraj at Renewable Energy Maldives

By Yoosuf Ashraj

Mr Yoosuf Ashraj at Hulhumale
View of  Male city from the Male Jetty

I travelled to the Maldives as an Intern from the Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology (FECT) at Renewable Energy Maldives (REM). This internship was arranged by FECT for the-Masters in (Sustainable) Development Practice from the University of Peradeniya. Since one of the students pulled out during the last minute, I had the opportunity to join Mr. K. Wijeratne who was undertaking a separate internship. I undertook preparatory work before and after and visited Male from 15th to 21st April 2013.

Our key contact people from REM were Dr.Nasheed Mohamed and Ms.Hudha Ahmed. The main objective of the trip was to understand and get involved with projects of REM.

Background of Renewable Energy Maldives (REM)

REM is a company that provides renewable energy solutions for clients in the Maldives. *Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable (naturally replenished). In 2008, about 19% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.2% from hydroelectricity. New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 2.7% and are growing very rapidly. The share of renewables in electricity generation is around 18%, with 15% of global electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3% from new renewables.

Currently REM is run by a small number of highly qualified, multi-disciplined team of professionals. The collective experience and knowledge within REM include: 20 years electricity generation and management; 20 years resort infrastructure planning, building and maintenance; 10 years resort operations including marine transport, 10 years in natural resource and environment management including policy and planning in energy and waste management; 10 years tuna collection fleet management and export and 10 years fiberglass boat yard management; chemical and process engineering and energy resource management. This Team is well conversed with the Work Environment including the Environmental Issues, Applicable Laws, Work Ethics, Culture and traditions in Maldives.
REM has formed strategic partnerships with both international and local companies. These include partnerships to introduce energy efficient cooling technologies and solar boat design and building.
Systema S.p.A, (Italy)
REM has formed a partnership with Systema S.p.A., of Italy, that specializes in producing heat recovery and cooling systems, to introduce combined power, heat and air-conditioning systems to the Maldives. These systems have the potential to raise the overall efficiency of the diesel driven energy system from 35% to 85%. Currently proposals have been submitted to two of the biggest resort groups in the Maldives and several buildings in Male’.
REM has also formed a subsidiary company, Solar Marine Pvt. Ltd., in partnership with a local boat building company (Coastline Group of Companies Pvt. Ltd), to build solar powered boats and deal in marine related solar products. Solar Marine is in partnership with a German company SOLFATEC that designs of solar boats to design and build solar boats for the Maldivian dive boat market. The boats are designed to carry 10 divers with crew and can travel for 4 hrs at 20 knots without recharging.
Jiangsu Chuanglan Solar Air Conditioner Co., Ltd (China)
REM in partnership with Jiangsu Chuanglan Solar Air Conditioner Co., Ltd of China is the sole distributer of Chuanglan Hybrid Solar Air Conditioners, Chuanglan Atmostpheric Water Generator, Chuanglan Solar Heaters for Maldives and Sri Lanka.
I was able to visit the following locations related to the work of REM;
Villingili Island (Solar panel installation site at Muhyiddin School):  I accompanied one of the technicians of REM for a networking upgrade at the school’s solar panel installation which was previously installed by REM.

Muhyiddin School

REM Technician at work

Ministry of Environment- new building (Absorption Chiller Air Conditioning Installation): Renewable Energy Maldives provides air conditioning using hot water driven absorption chillers. Absorption chillers are on average 70% more efficient than conventional split type air conditions, thus providing significant power savings. A building with air conditioning requirements of 860,000 BTU will save RF 38,000.00 per month at current electricity prices. In addition these systems will reduce carbon emissions and provide aesthetic appeal as well, as there will be no outdoor units.
The hot water driven absorption chillers use Lithium Bromide as a chemical to react with hot water to produce chilled water from hot water. The chilled water is used to cool the buildings. Lithium Bromide is non-toxic and can easily be disposed. The Lithium Bromide needs to be changed only once in every 10 years. The chiller life time is more than 20 years. As it is a chemical process, there are very few moving parts. Hence, the maintenance of the system is very low, the technology very simple. The technology is proven and established. Several countries in Europe, namely Sweden, France, Finland, Germany and Netherlands, currently have more than 1400 MW (cooling) worth of systems in operation.

Mr Yoosuf Ashraj (Extreme Right) and Mr. Naufel (Engineer- REM)(center) with Dr. Nasheed Mohamed and Two REM officials

Air conditioning lines being laid out before the ceiling is completed.

Traders Hotel:  (Silent observer at a business initiation meeting, involving Dr.Nasheed, Ms.Hudha, a representative from AllPlan Austria and the Engineering Manager of Traders Hotel).

Along with Mr.Wijeratne, I visited the following locations as well.
Maldives National University:  We met lecturers Ms.Shahdiya, Ms.Nuzha of Environmental Impact Assessment, and Ms.Shazly of Natural Resources Management and had a general discussion.  

Discussion with the Lecturers at the Maldives National University, Male.

Maldives Water and Sewerage Board / Male Water & Sewerage Company (Pvt) Ltd.

Meeting with Mr. Mohamed Rasheed, Manager (Engineering), Maldives Water & Sewarage company, at the Fen Building,  Male. (Left to Right: Mr. Y Ashraj, Mr. Mohamed Rasheed, Mr. K. Wijeratne)

The Male Water & Sewerage Company (Pvt) Ltd (MWSC) provides water and sanitation services for Villingilli, Hulhumale, Male and Maafushi.  MWSC has a Reverse Osmosis plant running for desalination of water.

Sewerage disposal is done at four corners of Male Island. It reaches these points through pipelines after intersecting many septic tanks and gullies. The disposal locations are at a minimum of 15m and maximum up to 40 M under the sea, with a lateral distance of 300-400m from the shore.

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