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Solar Battery Power In Kenya

Author: Source: Datetime: 2016-11-06 14:32:49
portable-solar-power-generator-system-wheel-200KInternational Insect Physiology and Ecology Center (ICIPE) staff do not worry too much about their campus power outages. A diesel generator set ensures that the center's research on insects, food and health will not be interrupted when the power of the national grid is shut down.

But the five generators at ICIPE's Huba Bay Center, on the shores of Lake Victoria in southwestern Kenya, cost about $ 4,000 a year for fuel and maintenance - they contribute to climate change.

Now, the campus will bid farewell to two of its five generators at the end of the year, as the solar cell system is put into operation, providing electricity to the center at night.

The system is currently under construction and will use 144 batteries to store 744 portable solar power generator panels to generate electricity.

The battery provides up to five hours of electricity each night. After that, the center will rely on grid electricity - or three remaining diesel generators in the event of a power outage.

This is the first time a  cell was installed in a large commercial utility in Kenya, according to Solarcentury, a solar power company, to install them.

Solarcentury's parent company, based in the UK, is also installing 3,460 solar panels at ICIPE's Nairobi campus. The Nairobi system will also be on-line before the end of the year.

Two solar cell systems cost a total of $ 2.5 million and will generate 1154 kilowatts of peak output.

ICIPE's Chief Financial Officer, Gatigwa Kimana, said the center wanted to find a clean, reliable and renewable energy source as part of last year's initiative to start using green energy and conserve water.

Since its inception 40 years ago, ICIPE has been using diesel generators as its only backup power source.

"The cost of a loss of power at a power outage is higher than the cost of money for diesel," Kinama explained. "After the feasibility study, we decided to adopt solar energy, in line with our philosophy of protecting the environment.

ICIPE hopes to expand its system next year in the Gulf of Homer to provide full-night power from solar power batteries cells.

"Despite the high installation costs, the use of solar systems with battery storage is not only environmentally friendly, but also economical in the long run," said Guy Lawrence, director of East Africa for Solarcentury.
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