Solar Energy System for effective learning, teaching and job opportunities

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Solar Energy System for effective learning, teaching and job opportunities

by Ingvild Oftedal
Supervisor(s) Josef.Noll
Due date 2024/12
Status Ongoing
Problem description: Meaningful Master (Master med Mening, MmM) with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) NORWAY, for Tumaini Open School in Tabora, Tanzania.
Methods and Tools: The tools and methods in this thesis are based on
  • A set of scenario, describing the challenges
  • A list of requirements being extracted from the scenarios
  • A description and evaluation of technologies and tools being candidates for solutions
  • A functional architecture/description of the envisaged system
  • An implementation of the core concepts
  • A demonstration of the solution
  • An evaluation of the solution, including a critical review of the descisions taken earlier
  • Conclusions
  • References
Time schedule The envisaged time schedule (for a long thesis/60 ECTS) is:
T0 0 starting month, T0+m denotes the month where the contribution to a certain chapter shalle be finalized
T0+2 months: create an initial page describing the scenario
T0+3: Provide a list of technologies which you think are necessary for the thesis
T0+4: Establish the table of content (TOC) of the envisaged thesis. Each section shall contain 3-10 keywords describing the content of that section
T0+7: Provide a draft of section 2 (scenario) and 3 (technologies)
T0+10: Establish a draft on what to implement/architecture
T0+11: Set-up an implementation, testing and evaluation plan
T0+15: Evaluate your solution based on a set of parameters, keep in mind there is no such thing as a free lunch
T0+17: Deliver the thesis
Pre-Knowledge This thesis includes a reasonable amount of programming. The envisaged thesis is based on radio communications, thus expects the user to have followed at least two radio-related courses
Approved Pending by
Keywords School Connectivity, Renewable Energy

this page was created by Special:FormEdit/Thesis, and can be edited by Special:FormEdit/Thesis/Solar Energy System for effective learning, teaching and job opportunities

This page provides hints on what to include in your master thesis.

Purpose of visit to Tumaini Open School

What to do when arriving in TZ

  • get yourself a SIM card at the airport (small Vodacom shop left corner), Ezekiel: Vodacom coverag? eSIM from Vodacom?

What to do at Tumaini

  • Install Energy Monitoring (SESA component)
Smappee installation on Home Assistant (how to use?) - See Media:202403Tumaini_OpenSchool_Install.pdf installation document
  • Install InfoSpot with Energy Information (BasicInternet & SESA)
The main equipment you need to establish a Wifi InfoSpot:
- An antenna. The antenna catches the mobile signal from the mobile radio tower and converts it to mobile internet (connects to the LNCC).
- A router. LNCC, Local Network Control Centre. This is server to get access to the network.
- A Raspberry Pi (RPI). This is a mini-computer preloaded with local content, providing full access even without an internet connection.
- A SIM card with 20 GB data/month. The costs per month for the school are the costs for the mobile broadband bundle. All other costs (maintaining the equipment, new content on the server, training, etc.) are covered by BasicInternet & SESA during the installation.
Installation steps
- Find tower (Map location): Download Network Cell info lite on Android, measure mobile network quality, and identify tower direction (>20km away).
- Orient the antenna: Mount the antenna, raise the mast and point towards the mobile tower.
- Connect the Antenna and the RPI to the LNCC. See:
The internet spot is ready when:
- All the cables are connected
- A sim card with an internet subscription is inserted
- The equipment is connected to power
- A voucher is added (to control who's granted site access).
  • Explain InfoSpot concept to local people
- see: courses on (1) Raspberry Pi, (2) Wordpress, (3) Nextcloud
To keep the operation costs low, we use a local society server.
To create a web page, we use the tool WordPress.
To share files with the community, we use the tool Nextcloud.
- establish courses
  • Stabilise Energy through local production
- Solar cells
- Batteries
- Hybrid inverter
  • Teach on Energy Usage
  • Business opportunities related to Energy for teenage mothers

Take with you to TZ:

  • Tablets (from Trainor)
  • InfoSpot (Antenna, Router (LNCC), Raspberry Pi) for
  • Smappee Equipment (6 coils, Genius and gateway) - evtl extra Raspberry Pi

TOC of Thesis

1. Introduction
My study is being done for Tumaini Open School in Tabora Tumaini@Tabora, a learning center that enrolls young mothers.
Until the end of November 2021, the Tanzanian government had decided that teenage mothers could not continue their education in public schools. After many decades of this law, there is still a lot of stigma and discrimination against the young mothers within the general society and in the school system, as well as few public schools that meet the girls' needs. To help the girls complete their education faster and make it more accessible, the community-based organization Tumaini Education Initiative has since 2021 established and managed the Tumaini Open School in the Tabora region, northeast Tanzania. The organization aims to create a sustainable, inclusive and stigma-free learning center for teenage mothers. The school gives the girls a second chance by providing them with an education from "form I-IV" and vocational training that will enable them to regain their educational goals, self-esteem, self-confidence, access to higher education and a profession with the overall goal of support themselves and their babies.
Tumaini Open School is strategically located in the rural village of Isukamahela, just south-east of Tabora, approximately 11 km from Tabora town. The rural outskirts of Tabora have been chosen to provide easy access to youth students from across the Tabora region and neighboring regions. The majority of students are not required to pay school fees and the project includes boarding facilities.The current size of the school is 50 students, but when completed, the organization's project will accommodate 450 teenage mothers and their young children, teachers and staff.
Tumaini Open School is recommended to have a reliable power supply to ensure constant power for necessary equipment, such as lights, computers and other electronics for effective teaching and learning, and to improve the school's security at night. The school is currently two-phase connected to the central grid, but power cuts are common, especially during the rainy season. Solar panels will therefore benefit the study environment and the safety of the students. The energy systems considered are solar energy for power supply. By implementing a solar energy system, the risk of being without electricity will be reduced.
The Master's thesis is created through a collaboration between the student, the supervisor at UiO, the mentor (with engineering experience) and the project manager from Engineers Without Borders (EWB) in Oslo, as well as the school in Tanzania.
The master's thesis consists of a theoretical part and fieldwork.
1.1 Motivation
My motivation is to help young mothers to complete their education and then be able to support themselves and their children.
Education and empowerment is the key in the transition to renewable energy, not only equipment and materials.
I want to figure out how a solar energy system and access to information can make teaching and learning more efficient, as well as create job opportunities for students at Tumaini Open School in Tabora and the local community.
The goal is for the school to have a less vulnerable electrical system. A solar cell system with a battery, as well as stabilizing the electrical system to be better prepared for power outages, will provide a more stable and sufficient electricity supply for the necessary equipment (such as lights, computers, incubator for eggs, etc.)
Free internet access to educational, informative and global content can be obtained via a cost-effective InfoSpots from the Basic Internet Foundation, UiO and African Child Projects, consisting of a directive antenna (directional antenna), a local network controller and a local server at the school. The integration of InfoSpots together with energy installations, such as solar panels in microgrids, provides both access to energy and information about energy.
Renewable energy and access to information could enable job opportunities for farming and agribusiness (irrigation gardening, poultry farming, fish farming, human and animal feed milling and packaging, etc), handcraft (welding, carpentry and joinery, aluminum works, etc), drinking water, entrepreneurship, concrete bricks making, and other many.
The motivation for choosing EWB's MmM is to learn about international cooperation, humanitarian work, and how technology and engineering expertise can contribute to development and opportunities. I also want to gain intercultural competence.
The project will hopefully contribute to EWB's vision by helping to provide a sustainable and useful solution, which meets a local need and improves the living situation of individuals.
1.2 Methods
- Create a project plan with tasks, time frames, resource allocation and responsible persons.
- Make a feasibility study for what is possible with the time and funding we have, considering the country, the area, the school, needs and wishes.
- Literature study for all relevant components, systems and solutions.
- During the project, I will work closely with those who will own and operate the system, to ensure that the solution is adapted to their needs and that they themselves understand how it works. Surveys, interviews, observations, etc.
- Investigate electricity consumption, consumption patterns, price level of electricity, energy costs, different levels of integration of solar energy, local energy storage, internet access, etc.
- Find out if batteries are a bad option in terms of lifespan.
- How to make measuring equipment for Rasberry Pi, so that we can monitor power consumption.
- Look at the possibility of establishing a 24V or 48V system.
- How to get funds and sponsorship beyond the funds we already assume we can use. If funding is limited, I will investigate how we can stabilize the electrical system, so that the school is less affected by power outages (Brownouts and Blackouts).
- Learn how to install an infoSpot. In collaboration with the University of Oslo (UiO), Basic Internet has established courses and instructions for the configuration, as well as the infrastructure needed to operate the InfoSpots.
- In order to ensure local ownership of the project, the community-based organization Tumaini Education Initiative, which has established and administers the Tumaini Open School, will receive the materials and knowledge they need (training on energy, electricity, internet, etc.)
- If the project finds funding for a solar cell system, it is planned to install a solar cell system with the possibility of expansion.
- Learn how to stabilize the electrical system to be better prepared for power outages.
2. Scenario (optional chapter for explaining some use cases)
2.1 user scenario
2.2 Requirements/Technological challenges
3. State-of-the art/Analysis of technology (Describe which technologies might be used to answer the challenges, and how they can answer the challenges)
3.1 Solar panels
3.2 Batteries
4. Implementation
4.1 Architecture, functionality
5. Evaluation
6. Conclusions


Red line

Your thesis should have a "red line", which is visible throughout the whole thesis. This means you should mention in the beginning of each chapter how the chapter contributes to the "goals of the thesis".

Use of scientific methods

A thesis follows a standard method:

  • describe the problem (problemstilling)
  • extract the challenges. These challenges should be measurable, e.g. method is too slow to be useful to voice handover.
  • Analyse technology with respect to challenges. Don't write & repeat "everything" from a certain technology, concentrate on those parts (e.g. protocols) which are of importance for your problem


  • Wikipedia is good to use to get an overview on what is happening. But there is not scientific verification of Wikipedia, thus you should use wikipedia only in the introduction of a chapter (if you use text from wikipedia). Use scientific literature for your thesis.
  • Scientific library is "at your hand", you can get there directly from UiO: [[How to get access to IEEE, Springer and other scientific literature -> Unik/UiOLibrary]]
  • I suggest that references to web pages, e.g. OASIS, W3C standards, are given in a footnote. Only if you find white papers or other .pdf documents on a web page then you refer to them in the reference section.

Evaluation of own work

Perform an evaluation of your own work. Revisit the challenges and discuss in how you fulfilled them. Provide alternative solution and discuss what should be done (or what could have been done).