Design of a solar energy centre for providing lighting and income-generating activities for off-grid rural communities in Kenya
journal contributionposted on 27.11.2017, 14:31 by O.M. Roche, Richard BlanchardRichard Blanchard
One of the biggest challenges in the developing world is the provision of affordable and reliable electricity access to rural and marginalized people where grid extension is prohibitively expensive. Many off-grid schemes to date have focused on household lighting with mixed success. Some of the greatest difficulties have been around affordability and sustainability of the service provided, with systems being abandoned or removed due to broken equipment or inability of the user to continue paying for the service. It has been reported that key to the success of the best programs has been the means to improve the economic prospects of the users. In this paper the design of a solar energy centre for a rural village in Kenya, that enables income-generating activities for the community in addition to basic lighting and mobile phone charging provision, will be reported. We have found that it is possible to use the energy centre model to provide power for activities that could offer a source of income for the community, at an affordable cost with equipment available in Kenya today. It is believed that this will allow the community to develop economically and therefore ensure the sustainability of the off-grid power supply.
This work was part funded by UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Project: Solar Nano Grids.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering