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Shifting to a new energy source in Lebanon

In this video, Mohammad Krayem, an employee at Secutech in Lebanon, takes us through the work of his company in solar systems.
Hello, we are Secutech company, security of technology. We’ve been working in the field of high and low current systems for more than 15 years. We install everything related to electricity, security systems, alarms, inclusion fire, plus solar energy.
We started working in the field of solar energy recently, for approximately 4 months. But we’ve been working with everything related to high and low current systems for a long time for more than 15 years. We work in different areas in Lebanon, we install, we sell, we buy and after sale services and warranties and stuff like this.
Concerning resources that one can benefit from to generate electricity that we call renewable energy…
mainly there are three at the moment: wind, water, and solar energy. Technically in Lebanon the water solutions as energy resources are not that common, we didn’t reach this yet… If I am not mistaken perhaps there is not only one provider in Lebanon who is using this technique or this type of energy solution. The wind is an energy resource…we have a couple of them in Lebanon, but the weather in Lebanon doesn’t make this very efficient, there is a lot of humidity. Plus even during the winter, there are some areas where wind doesn’t reach them to generate energy, that solar energy can generate.
Now solar energy is the best solution, the solar panels that are installed rely on the light of the sun more than the heat. We have both in Lebanon, we have the heat and the light, the intensity of the light in general is very strong, so the panels benefit from this… We install them in a way where the diagonal is 40 degrees on the left, which is the best angle to be more efficient, and generate electricity at home.
So the main challenges we face with clients, especially that I am a sales representative since I am in the front… The most common thing is the little awareness that they have… Let’s say the client has a budget of one thousand USD, he wants 15 amperes plus he wants 5 amperes at night. These usually don’t cost less than 12 thousand USD. So the client wants 15 amperes and 5 amperes at night and he can pay only one thousand USD, he is like take it or leave it. So I need to explain to him from A to Z, that this is not possible, the battery gives you this and it costs this much.
The panels give you this and it cost this much, it’s like I am giving a course every time. This is something good for me because it gives me more experience, but it’s hard to convince the client. Especially in Lebanon where people don’t have much knowledge in this and they pretend they know everything but they actually don’t. So this is one of the problems that I suffer from. In addition to that, the client thinks when he installs a solar system he can turn on everything in his house. If the electricity goes off, he comes back to me and tells me that it’s my fault. He doesn’t know that he needs to save energy.
He needs to know that it’s similar to when he was saving energy when using the generators’ electricity he needs to do that same. It doesn’t mean he needs to turn off everything. We tell him that when you want to use the AC you need to put it on 22 instead of 16 degrees. Because it increases the consumption of energy, and use less lightbulbs, if you want to use more, you need to pay more. You gave me a small budget and I installed the system, but I gave you one condition, you can use a certain capacity, you can’t use more. So this is one problem that we are facing with the clients, the awareness issue.
The second part is still about awareness but with another aspect of it, more specific. These are the most common challenges. Plus when you need to convince clients that there’s not enough merchandise. Because they are in a rush to have this service, there is a lot of demand and not enough offers. There is a high demand and not enough supplies. This is something that we suffer from with dealing with clients.
Ok…so the solar system consists of three main parts that are necessary other than the batteries. We have the panels, the inverter, and the batteries, all three need to be there. The panels provide energy for both the house and the batteries, throughout the day they are giving electricity directly to the house and at the same time they are charging the batteries. When the night comes, panels cannot function alone because there is no sun. So then the batteries start working, this is the job of the inverter. The inverter knows alone when to take from the panels, when to give from the batteries, when to give from the government electricity, this is the job of the inverter.
It is programed in a way where it can give the priority to the batteries, or to give the priority to the panels… So we are taking electricity from the panels, if the panels stop we take electricity from the batteries. When the batteries stop we take electricity from the government’s electricity, or the other way around. There is a specific network or what we say a specific sequence. In addition, there is the switch, the panels where we have the switches. When we want the government’s electricity we turn it off and turn it on when we want to take electricity from the panels… These are issues that are very important.
In addition to the DC cable connecting the battery to the inverter, and the inverter to the panels. It is a way where all of them can be connected to each other of course… and this is it in general. In addition, there is more than one optional device that can be used in the system. There is a device called MPPT charger, this is the Maximum Power Point Tracker. Its role is to charge the batteries in a faster way. If someone has more than one battery, he wants that all batteries are charged by the end of the day and not buy more panels to charge them.
He buys something called MPPT and this helps the batteries to be charged in a more efficient way, where he doesn’t need to install more panels. Because we have two types of panels, one that gives electricity to the house and the other is to charge the batteries. So in order not to pay more, he can buy an MPPT charger that costs 200 USD and charge the batteries in a faster way. In addition to that, there is an online application that the client can use, he can insert a WIFI plug in the inverter, this is additional and optional. He puts it in the inverter and gives him all statistics on the application throughout the day.
What is the highest amperage of consumption, what is the charging level of the batteries. All the information he needs in general. So this is mainly the system explained if we are talking about the technical part of it.
OK….so for people who’s financial situation isn’t very good. People who get paid in Lebanese Lira, or half salary in Lebanese Lira and the other half in USD. People who can’t invest in such a thing, not even 5 amperes, they can go with another option. They can use a UPS with batteries on the side, this will give them electricity from 5 to 6 hours. But they will have to rely then on the generators electricity to charge the batteries. The batteries won’t be able to charge from the UPS unless there is a panel or electricity. So this is something that they might suffer from. This is mainly the situation of people who can’t afford it.

In this video, Mohammad Krayem, an employee at Secutech in Lebanon, takes us through the work of his company in solar systems during Lebanon’s electricity crisis.

Mohammad explains the equipment that clients are purchasing to set up their solar home systems.

Over to you

In your opinion, do you think that such initiatives can bring the energy crisis in Lebanon to an end? What other solutions do you think such company can do in order to support its clients?

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