Over the past three weeks ELWA has been hosting a group of people from the US that have been helping to make upgrades to the power system. The team consists of former missionaries, former missionary kids from ELWA, electricians, contractors and even a Liberian who used to work at ELWA but now lives in Philadelphia. In total 9 people traveled out from the US to work with ELWA's 5 electricians and an extra 8-10 ELWA services staff that helped out.
The project consisted of replacing all the transformers on campus so the voltage could be dropped from 7,200 volts to 2,400 on the primary transmission lines. The change was recommended a couple years ago after an electrical engineer analyzed ELWA's system and recommended the voltage be dropped to reduce the high voltage leaking to ground and jumping around insulators. We also installed some new transmission lines and changed our output voltage that the generators produce. The old transformers were very old in some cases and the combination of old transformers and poor power lines led to chronically low voltage at the hospital and other locations. Over the past couple years this has shortened the life of a number of pieces of donated equipment that the hospital couldn't afford to lose.
The big switch was made last Tuesday and everything went very smoothly. The rest of the week the crew continued to work on the transmission lines, generator programming and troubleshooting other problems that have plagued the system. Over the course of the last 3 weeks a number of issues were identified that needed correction. These issues necessitated purchasing a wide range of electrical materials. A wide range of electrical materials that cost a little over $3,000. These purchases were paid for by myself and other members of the team to keep the project rolling.
So now we are trying to raise some funds to help pay for these needed upgrades. If anyone would like to help out please go to the new organization, EMA USA, and donate. All donations are tax deductible. Please indicate that the money is for the ELWA Power project (but not on your check memo line as the website explains is not permitted under IRS rules).
Now onto some pictures...
Paul Ruark was our only Lineman and was therefore very busy with all of the new transmission line work. Here he is in the basket of a forklift that we were able to use for the week.Setting a new power pole.
Alan Shea (on the left and a MK who grew up at ELWA) and Jeff Kennell did most of the electrical change over work that needed to be done in the powerhouse. They also completed some of the finer features of the Intelligen control system that our generators are controlled through.
The forklift was loaned to us to use for the week through a connection of Kevin Kejr. Without it we would not have been able to complete the project nearly as quickly.
Cleaning up some of the pole hardware while the power was off. Everyone got into the action, this is actually one of our staff plumbers helping out.
Making connections at the step up transformers. From L-R Alan Shea, Justin (on loan from Samaritan's Purse), Kevin Kejr and Paul Ruark
David Frazee came and stayed at the house he grew up in from 1960-1976. He is now an electrician in TN.