I dedicate my work to the various and proven solar standards. In respect of them solar systems easily run at their full potential for 30 years and more!
Sounds too simple? Yes, however these plants are rare to find. This it is exactly the moment when my expertise steps in. I am into solar engineering since 2005 with practical experience in various roles: plant designer, project manager, site manager, technical director, commissioning engineer and as an independent expert. I worked in Europe and since 2016 in West Africa, Ghana.
Successful solar projects follow a proven procedure: After due diligence is granted a conceptual phase starts. There, the focus is on the as-is built environment of the installation site and the various purposes the solar system shall satisfy. This comprehensive concept lays the fundament for the following design and engineering phase. Only proven standards and products shall apply for the specification of the plant. For the best quality at lowest price it is advised to execute a bidding process then.
Now, the implementation phase requires a realistic time schedule, the creation of a highly performing installation team and, during construction, a constant follow up of the quality objectives. Having complied to that, the final commissioning is just a procedure and not a challenge any more.
My role can either be as the advisor of the principal or the expert within the EPC company. (Engineering, Procurement, Construction).
This project dealt with the implementation of a hybrid solar rooftop system: the plant shall operate parallel to the grid as well as with Diesel generators. Special attention was needed to avoid any disturbance of the plant operation and to ensure a continuous stable feed-in of solar power. This implies a professional and integrated lightning concept for the solar plant itself but also for the production hall.
A particular challenge for the Project manager is the harmonization of interests of all the stakeholders as client, EPC company, investor and installer.
For this project engineering, procurement, project management and commissioning was executed by the project manager.
Thangakan Vijaya Kumar DEEE, Electrical Engineer at Kasapreko Ltd, Ghana, about Jan:
‘At our factory the management decided to install a 400kW solar system to power the factory. In the beginning I was sceptical since a new application never runs as it should right from the start; during installation period, you usually get further problems. In addition, a factory has its own laws which need to be respected because highest priority is always the production. But not in this case! We were happy to have Jan as the responsible Project Manager. Against all odds, Jan and his team did a perfect implementation of the solar plant: no downtime, no issues at all! For now, more than one year, since the very beginning, the solar system runs smoothly!’
Winfried Owtscharenko, Managing Director of a solar company, Ghana, about Jan:
‘I know Jan for more than 15 years by now from the solar business. We implemented various projects successfully with him as technician or project manager. What I like most about him: he is accountable. He is doing what he is saying. It makes working with him so easy!’
An independent expert supports you in the evaluation of the actual facts about your installation. Surely things can go wrong, but you need to know the problem! In order to become enabled on how to correct it.
An expert opinion is needed for commissioning, for intermediate checks on plant performance and installation, and in case a solar plant becomes a dispute. A German technical surveying institution, TÜV, certified my expertise in May 2019.
If a solar plant exploits its full potential, it cannot be told by a look from outside. Only the examination of the ratio between the actual solar feed-in capacity and the simultaneously taken irradiation of the sun will give evidence. Unstable utility grids in addition with inappropriate settings of parameter within the inverter lead to downtimes. But the real value of a solar plant is determined just by this: permanent availability and maximal energy production.
An independent examination of a solar plant with fault analysis and appropriate solutions gives the operator of a plant the tool to actively preserve or renew the value of his solar system.
Steffen Behrle, Programme Manager RE and EE, GIZ Ghana
‘We engaged Jan in our Renewable Energy program in Accra, Ghana, as a consultant for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Among the various tasks he performed in those fields, his main role was to assess the performance and quality of local solar PV installations as a solar expert. The insights from his surveys gave us a clear and profound picture of the status of current local installations in terms of the quality of components used and the quality of installations measured against international standards.
It was great having had Jan on our team. He always provided high quality technical support and he is a fantastic supportive team player!’
During my work life spent within the renewable energy sector, mainly solar, I have gained experience and qualifications, it became natural to pass on my knowledge and lessons learned on a broader institutional level.
International consultancies and NGO´s appreciate my combination of relevant knowledge and hands on experience in Europe and abroad!
The task was to design a solar carport out of local and sustainable construction material for a solar company in Accra.
Bamboo has excellent statical properties. Also, it is by far more affordable than steel. However, bamboo is not utilized in an engineering manner in Ghana and every construction detail had to be designed especially for this intended purpose. And certainly the construction had to satisfy esthetical means: being located in the entrance area it is the showpiece of the company.
A NGO contracted the development of a cooling concept for vegetable traders in the north of Ghana (Subsaharian climate). But market analysis gave evidence that the profits out of the selling were not sufficient to run a cold store with it. At the same time, it became obvious, that cooled storage of low quality products is not advisable: a spoiled tomato won´t get better in the cold, it is just occupying expensive space.
The solution was found in an affordable and integrated market stall for the traders which gave room for presenting and storing of goods. The underlying cooling principle is based on evaporation of water.
Christoph Pannhausen, Teamleader at AFC, Accra, Ghana about Jan:
‘Jan has developed a unique low-cost and ecologically friendly cooling solution: a vegetable storage for market traders in the North of Ghana. He demonstrated a very high level of commitment to deliver the expected results. He was able to quickly accommodate and to interact with all relevant stakeholders. In the end we were happy to even get a physical result: our first prototype for a small scale and cooled market store!’
- 2019- current: consultancy for NGO´s and private companies, Ghana
- 2019: certificate for lightning expert (VdS)
- 2019: certificate for battery storage expert (VDE/ DGS)
- 2019: certificate for Authorised Expert for Photovoltaic Equipment (TÜV)
- 2017-2018: Project Manager for commercial solar plants, Ghana
- 2016- 2017: head of engineering of a solar company, Ghana
- 2015: energy auditor
- 2015: registered and listed as Energy Auditor for Germany and Austria
- 2014: certificate for an energy efficiency manager (EUREM)
- 2012: certified for Project Manager Level C by IPMA
- 2009-2014: free-lance solar consultant
- 2005-2009: solar project engineer
- -2004: work as a trade fair fitter
- -2001: architectural study with degree Dipl. Ing. (FH)
- -1996: work as a carpenter
- -1994: apprenticeship carpentry
- -1991: first experience abroad on farms in Ireland
- -1990: civil service in a carpentry for mentally handicapped
- 1989: higher education entrance qualification (Abitur)
Based in Accra,
acting across West Africa: