Renewable forms of energy have been increasing in popularity over the last few years. Though interest is high, few radio stations are using solar power due to fears of the cost and complexity involved.
This document takes an in-depth look at the conversion to 100% solar power operation at a small community radio station called Mayardit FM in Turalei, South Sudan. Since the installation of the solar system in March 2016, the station has operated on 100% solar power (including its transmission), broadcasting up to 16 hours a day, every day of the week. To date, the system has had zero downtime.
This report was written to share learning with others who may be considering whether solar power would be suitable for their station(s). The first section describes the South Sudan context, background, and purpose of the project. The second section provides a case study of the solar power conversion at Mayardit FM, including technical specifications, user-centered design considerations, costings, and lessons learned from the first months of operation. The third section serves as a “how to” manual, which can be used by anyone interested in designing a solar system and weighing its feasibility for their own radio station.