The current power surges and the escalating cost of electric power in the country has led to numerous technological innovations aimed at power management systems to ensure residents remain lit and growth in all spheres of development.
According to a report by International Energy Agency, dubbed “The Technology Road map,”predicts that by 2050, Concentrating solar power (CSP) could produce 11.3 per cent of global electricity with 9.6 per cent from solar power and 1.7 per cent from fossil fuels and biomass.
CSP systems, are systems that use mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight,onto a small area to produce electrical power which is then converted to heat that in turn drives an electrical power generator.
With the technological advancement on the rise, the alternative energy solutions taken by various technological partners seem to be aware of the destruction that non renewable resources cause to the environment and are therefore shifting to green energy solutions.
Among the home owners and developers, the bills incurred on water heating and the frequent blackouts are the forces towards the shift to solar energy solution.
In Thika lies Bahati Ridge, a housing project on a 95 acre piece of land, according to the Marketing and Communications Director of the Development project, Margaret Kibe. The residents will from the first phase of construction experience a power back up system that aims at storing electric power in purpose-built batteries. This will entail the use of inverters to curb the frequent power black outs.
“The power management plan that will be rolled out soon after the completion of the first
phase of the construction project, will greatly save buyers on power black outs ” said Kibe adding that the plan will be optional for the buyers.
The inverters will convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). The resulting AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits.
Kibe said the development seeks to rely on static inverters that will be affordable and easy to maintain. This she termed as instantaneous switch of power supply that will make it difficult for buyers to realize any black outs.
“You don’t even know a black-out has happened, The Inverter ear marked for use has no moving parts and so they are easy to maintain. The batteries too have a long life of up to 5 years depending on the nature of the power cuts and environmental temperatures” explained Kibe.
Static inverters are used in a wide range of applications, from small switching power supplies in computers, to large electric utility high-voltage direct current applications that transport bulk power. With power inputs ranging from 1500 VA to 10 KVA it can support lighting up of a five bedroom house and make use of appliances such as fax machines, DVD players,computers, fridges and other equipment.
Tom Wandera, the solar water heating Brands executive of the largest solar battery and solar back-up supplier, Chloride Exide, said the growing popularity of solar energy has been facilitated by the rising cost of electricity adding that the systems will greatly save consumers on water heating bills as compared to their counterparts who rely on electricity.
“Solar water heating systems are gaining popularity as a result of the ever rising cost of electricity. The occupants expect 60 per cent savings on their bills,” said wandera when the company installed 32 solar water heating units at Delight Apartments in Nairobi’s Kilimani estate.
“The system will reduce the reliance on non-renewable resources which are expensive especially in Kenya where there is sunlight abundance over the year as compared to China,” said Delights Apartments’ site Manager, Yu Guiqiang.
Recently Samsung unveiled the world’s first solar powered laptop in Nairobi that has the capability to operating up to 14.5 hours stand-by, an improvement of the current netbooks that can only stand up to seven and eight hours.
The new Samsung solar laptop has the ability to capture energy from the sun and is capable of using about 2 hours of bright-mid-day sun to recharge. It has a lifeline charge of up to 1000 times over 3 years.
“The Samsung Netbook NC 215S is an aggregation of Samsung’s diverse forward thinking technologies and it satisfies the needs of global market consumers by integrating ‘environmentally-friendly green IT technology,” said Robert Ngeru,Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader in the ongoing Samsung Built for Africa campaign.
Kenya Women Finance Trust( KWFT) a Micro finance Institution has also braced the challenge of electricity through the provision of Angazia Maisha loan that assists clients to acquire Angazia Maisha Portable lamps that uses solar energy for lighting household and business premises apart from charging mobile phones.
“Despite all households having at least a mobile phone, source of power has been a great challenge. To ensure the clients are available all the time at their business premises and homes, we provide clients with a loan amounting to 5,500 for the purchase of of the lamp repayable after six to 12 months. With this the client is able to save between 1,000 to 1,500 per month . The amount that would have otherwise been spent on kerosene,” explained Mwangi Githaiga, KWFT’s Managing Director in a recent interview with the People Daily.
The use of solar energy remains one of the best options available for saving both cost and ensuring blackouts become a thing of the past while ensuring the world embrace a green environment. Considering climate change is a serious threat all over the world.