solar battery power takes up the charge in kenya
Thomson Reuters Foundation-
Staff of the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)
Don\'t worry too much about the frequent power outage on their campus.
A set of diesel generators ensures that the center\'s research on insects, food and health will not be interrupted when the State Grid is powered off.
But in the center of the horma Bay in ICIPE, five generators on the shore of South Lake Victoria
In western Kenya, fuel and maintenance costs are about $4,000 per year
They contribute to climate change.
Now, with the solar cell system running to provide night power to the center, the campus will bid farewell to two of its five generators by the end of the year.
The system is currently under construction and will use 144 batteries to store the electricity generated by 744 solar panels.
The battery can provide up to five hours of electricity every night.
After that, the center will be powered by the power grid.
Or three diesel generators left in the event of a power outage.
According to solar company Solarcentury, which is installing solar cells, this is the first time solar cells have been installed in large commercial utilities in Kenya.
The UK-based Solarcentury has also installed 3,460 solar panels at the Nairobi campus of ICIPE.
The Nairobi system will also be launched by the end of this year.
The two solar cell systems cost a total of $2.
5 million, will produce a peak output of 1,154 KW.
Gatigwa Kimana, chief financial officer at ICIPE, said the center wanted to find a clean, reliable and renewable energy source as part of last year\'s initiative to use green energy and save water.
Since its inception 40 years ago, ICIPE has been using a diesel generator as the only backup power supply.
\"The cost of losing the opportunity during a power outage is higher than the monetary cost of buying diesel,\" Kinama explained . \".
\"After carrying out the feasibility study, we decided to use solar energy based on our concept of protecting the environment.
\"ICIPE hopes to expand its system in Horma Bay next year to provide all-
Night power provided by solar cells.
\"Despite the high cost of installation, using solar systems with battery storage is not only eco-friendly, but also economical in the long run,\" says Guy Lawrence, East Africa director at Solarcentury . \".
Lawrence noted that since Solarcentury began operating in Kenya three years ago, its other three corporate customers have chosen a relatively cheap hybrid system instead of battery storage.
Hybrid systems combine solar energy with other power supplies that customers are already using.
In the case of Garden City, a large shopping mall east of Nairobi, the solar panel system has been integrated with the electricity of the State Grid and diesel generators.
The mall has the largest solar car parking lot in East Africa, with 3,500 solar panels installed in the shade of the parking space.
The panel generates 915 KW of the electricity.
\"The idea of installing solar panels on the roof is to be practical, and while providing power, cars can be protected from rain, sunlight and other environmental factors,\" Lawrence said . \".
The mall now uses solar power during the day and switches from the State Grid to power at night.
Lawrence believes that the market for solar panels and battery systems is growing after other potential users see early projects.
He said: \"The level of interest and quantity of the contracts we signed have increased exponentially . \" He is interested in businesses including agricultural producers and manufacturing companies.
In addition to the private sector, the government is also taking steps to introduce more solar energy into the state grid.
The Energy Department called for the installation of solar systems with battery storage early this year.
The government, through the rural electricity authority, a public company, has also started building a 55-
Megawatt solar power plant in the sun
Rich in the north, Garissa.
East of the country.