Case study

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1

Who is Daystar Power?

Large portions of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population lack connectivity to the electric grid. Furthermore, businesses and consumers with connectivity to the grid continue to face constant power outages that affect their livelihoods.

Businesses across the region tend to rely on expensive and polluting diesel generators to fulfil their energy needs. It is estimated that over 50 million back-up generators are in use in Sub-Saharan Africa, by businesses alone.

Daystar Power is a Nigerian company that offers hybrid solar power solutions to address these energy challenges in the region. Through reliable, decentralised energy, Daystar Power unlocks the following benefits:

Reducing the cost of energy

Providing a stable power supply

Reducing pollution

2

What does Daystar Power do?

Daystar Power operates 200+ renewable energy systems across 4 countries in West Africa. This large portfolio of systems caters to both households and businesses and provides clean, reliable and affordable power.

With an average uptime of 99.9%, Daystar Power ensures that all its customers get continous access to energy. Their services enable banking, retail, agricultural, logistical and other small & large industries to operate efficiently.

Comprehensive Solar Services offered by Daystar Power

Auditing

Proposal

Installation

Operations

Business models

Daystar Power provides clean and reliable power – all the while lowering customers’ energy bills. Moreover, the systems are financed by Daystar, requiring zero up-front capital expenditure by customers. These benefits are achieved by introducing solar power, sometimes together with additional technologies such as battery back-up.

Common operational challenges Daystar Power faces

Technical Challenges

Visibility at scale

With each new system deployed, the multiplicity of vendors and technologies made system management more complex

Bringing all assets online

Key system components like diesel generators, fuel tanks, and hybrid controllers were not being monitored

Every minute matters

Stringent service level agreements (SLAs) with end-clients led to the need to ensure 99.9% system uptime

Commercial Challenges

High logistical costs

Monitoring the fuel level across generators in their portfolio entailed high procurement and logistical costs

Moving beyond spreadsheets

The management of SLAs traditionally involved a lengthy process that included manual gathering and processing of data in Microsoft Excel

Lack of a single source of truth

Commercial end-users increasingly desired insights into the energy generation for their own peace of mind.

An illustration of the complexity involved in system operations and management of Daystar Power’s renewable energy systems

3

How does AMMP help Daystar Power?

AMMP is a remote monitoring and management platform for energy companies. AMMP offers real-time, actionable insights into portfolios of renewable/hybrid energy systems, allowing companies to reduce operational and maintenance costs.

AMMP enabling streamlined monitoring and management for all assets and stakeholders

Bringing all operational data together

Challenge:

Daystar Power operates a large portfolio of systems of a wide variety of technologies (PV, batteries, gensets, smart meters, hybrid controllers, sensors), vendors (SMA, Victron, Fronius, Schneider, DSE, SDMO), sizes (3kW - 3MW) and topologies (on-grid vs. off-grid).

Before using AMMP, Daystar Power was using many vendor portals to access some of the system data for their operations, while for some devices there was no monitoring ability at all. This setup increased in complexity with every new system deployed and soon became unmanageable.

Solution:

AMMP brought the data from all systems together into a single platform from which Daystar Power is able to manage their whole portfolio, independent of vendor, technology and system type.

Helping deliver 99.9% system uptime

Challenge:

Every minute of downtime is penalized due to stringent SLAs stipulating 99.9% uptime promise to end-clients.

Solution:

AMMP allows Daystar Power to define their own alarms across their whole portfolio and hence immediately notify the right people through the right channel in case there are any issues with a system.

Enhancing PV performance

Challenge:

Low PV performance equals a cost factor for Daystar Power. In order to ensure high PV performance, the engineering team needs to compare solar irradiation data with actual consumption. This is not possible without irradiation monitoring and reliable consumption readings.

Solution:

AMMP integrates with irradiation sensors and calculates the performance for Daystar Power in order to identify underperforming systems.

Streamlining procurement and logistics

Challenge:

Every week a local technician had to take a picture of the fuel tank level to inform Daystar Power about sites needing a refill over the weekend. This led to high procurement and logistic costs.

Solution:

AMMP provides fuel level monitoring for the Daystar Power sites that are using Diesel Generators. With the integrated fuel level alerts, Daystar Power can plan refuelling logistics way ahead of any critical levels, and will also get notified in case of rapid drops in fuel level which indicate potential fuel theft.

Enabling new business models

Challenge:

Daystar Power manages a variety of different SLAs with their end clients e.g. lease agreements with "time of use" restrictions and PPAs. Daystar Power can charge their end-clients for power use outside of agreed hours and requires reliable energy readings for administering the PPAs. Before using AMMP, in order to manage these SLAs, Daystar Power tried to gather the data across all the systems manually and processed them in Microsoft Excel.

Solution:

AMMP provides all the relevant data (Power and Energy readings) in one place, for easy access to enable the management of these SLAs.

The single source of truth

Challenge:

There were occasions where Daystar Power and their end-clients had diverging information about energy consumption and operation times, and such discrepancies were difficult to resolve.

Solution:

AMMP provides Daystar Power’s end-clients with direct access to the platform, allowing them controlled access to data for their specific systems, and hence acting as a single source of truth between the parties.

Dashboards for end-clients

Challenge:

Daystar often gets the request from end-clients to provide a customized dashboard to show to their stakeholders. For exmaple, a bank would like to show their solar energy generation and CO2 reduction on a screen in their lobby.

Solution:

AMMP provides Daystar Power’s end-clients with beautiful dashboards with Daystar Power and the end-client’s branding, made specially to show to their stakeholders.

4

Testimonials

A picture shared by Daystar Power showcasing their Network Operations Centre (NOC) in Lagos, Nigeria

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