A research team from the School of Engineering of the University of Minho, composed of members of the Departments of Industrial Electronics (Sérgio Coelho and Carlos Martins) and Mechanical Engineering (Professor Caetano Monteiro), went to Maputo in order to monitor the work developed under the PV4SUSTAINABILITY project. After the welcome by the Rector of the Pedagogical University of Maputo, Professor Jorge Ferrão, it was possible to visit the laboratories of Electronics and Telecommunications at the University, together with Professor Uranio Mahanjane. In addition to the technical component of the project and the exchange of information and knowledge, the sharing of experiences between the University of Minho and the Pedagogical University is one of the great strengths of this project, where cooperation between both parties has been essential to the success of this project.
The PV4SUSTAINABILITY project, which began in 2018 in cooperation with the Pedagogical University of Maputo, aims to study and develop a system capable of pumping and irrigating water using a set of solar photovoltaic modules. In addition, outside pumping periods, the photovoltaic modules are also responsible for charging a set of batteries, thus ensuring a constant supply of energy to an isolated community. Access to electricity and water is considered a basic need to which millions of people still have no access throughout the world, as is the case in Mozambique, which is why this project has a very high social, as well as technological, profile.
Although one of the aims of the project is its easy replicability, regardless of geographical location, the implementation of PV4SUSTAINABILITY took place in Marracuene, Maputo, an area particularly suited to the development of solar photovoltaic solutions. Daily contact with the community of Marracuene is also very close, with the aim being to provide technical training to the locals, create bases for nutrition programmes and, above all, for the project to meet the needs of the community.