Chitokoloki, Zambia

Project Description

Project Description: Electrification of mission infrastructure and hospital
Team Leader: Don McKay
Team Leader Email:
Team Leader Phone:
Team Dates: Approx. 4 to 6 weeks Jan - Mar, 2017
Approximate Cost: $2800


Team Updates

2017 trip

Posted on 2017-05-10 10:06:50 by Don McKay
ZAMBIA ELECTRIFICATION REPORT April 30/17 This year flights were hard to get, which resulted in a cancellation of one team member, and so our trip did not begin until Feb 25/17. Nathanael Gummerson, Carol and I met Ron Spohr, who flew in from BC, in Toronto and joined in our 27 hour flight to Chit. We had to lay over in Lusaka for a night and were hit with a departure tax, for the first time, as we left Lusaka airport to fly to Chit. After settling into the Pool house we began work. The days started as usual with rise and shine at 6am, have breakfast and a short devotion at home then down to maintenance for devotions. From there on it was into work for 2 ½ hrs until tea time with a break for coffee and tea; either at a missionary home or at the hospital with the staff there. Murray was soon to join us as he was returning from a previous mission trip and coming straight from there to Chit. The work at Chit involved many little jobs; which we spent the first 3 weeks completing. Nathanael had to reassemble a tractor engine which was awaiting some parts we had taken. He then went onto replacing several speed governor parts and the big Lister gen, which had not run for 2 years because previous attempts to fix it did not work. Murray and I brought the solar river pumps up to speed again and rearranged many batteries in various places, to try to upgrade various systems and eliminate the first batteries we installed in 2009-10. Ron went thru all the batteries and re programed the charge controls to match the manufacture specs. We also added controls on some grid tie units to take them off line when the batteries were fully charged. All these things should help extend the life of the batteries. It seems the shutdown controls worked fine but we need at least 4 more arrangements as I just received work that there are still some areas of overcharging. Nathanael helps us install roof solar panels on two missionary homes and we put a new 3KW system in at Christina’s house and prepared the storage facility of JR’s for a 5KW system. Many other jobs were worked on including a 2 day trip to Sakeji School to bring up a totally solar power supply for the computer lab as power outages was causing havoc with the teaching program. Plans were made for another similar system for the office facility and an over view of the possibility to add grid tie solar inverters to the local turbine system. We went up to Chuvuma for 2 days and installed new standby battery system for the missionary homes as their old 110V DC system had depleted to an operating level of about 45V DC. This upgrade included new batteries, a 5KW inverter and all LED lighting. At Depolate we went up to help Jeff for a day to get a standby generator operating so they would have some assurance that they could have some power at this hospital if something would go wrong while Jeff was back in USA. Jeff and June have arrived in USA and are now visiting their new granddaughter. We spent a day at Justin’s farm to help get his solar upgraded. On the way home Ron and Nathanael stopped at Flying Mission Station near Lusaka to help replace an inverter on a three phase system there and get it back running on three Phase. The inverter had been taken out and repaired while the system had been changed to single phase in order to have power. The return to 3 phase power, proved to be challenging and the time was limited as Ron and Nathanael were on their way to catch a flight home. Thanks to the advent of the cell phone and God’s grace Ron and I were able to work out some issues by phone as we talked thru some hick ups in the start-up procedure. Even though we had some delays getting away, the trip worked out well with much accomplished and it was interesting that we would have delays as we were able to meet with Zesco, the power authority of Zambia on 2 occasions. They had received funding from the UN to build a power line instruction; thru out North West Zambia. It is to transport 30 megawatts of power to the region. Even though Chit is 35 miles off of the main line they want to supply power because we are ready to facility the use of it. They are required to have 3 Megawatts of connected load before they get completely paid. We had much input into all of this. Our Lord’s timing is impeccable in all things; we give Him all the praise and glory. We thank all those who have supported this both with prays and necessary funds, continually mindfully that all is as a service to Him. Zambia Electrification Team


Posted on 2016-10-20 19:59:42 by Don McKay
Leaving late Jan early Feb for approx 45 days. Need strong back...some electrical/electronic experience helpful.