Microgrid replaces diesel generators
Aquion Energy, Inc. recently announced the planned installation of an operation-changing microgrid at Loisaba Conservancy, a wildlife research facility and ecotourism destination located in Kenya. Loisaba’s CEO, Tom Silvester, described the conservancy as “56,000 acres of pristine land, populated by hundreds of animals and enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year”.
Designed and funded by Solar Africa, the two off-grid systems will each hold a 106 kWh Aquion battery together with a 37 kW solar array. This new microgrid will replace diesel as a source to power the swimming pool, laundry facility and research centre of the facility, as well as many other day to day power needs.
During the day, the solar array will provide power while simultaneously charging the batteries so that they can meet energy demand during night time hours and cloudy periods. The installation of the microgrid will replace the noisy and costly diesel generators which have been the conservancy’s primary source of power. The system with industrial batteries and solar panels offers a clean and reliable alternative, so Loisaba can now proudly call itself a reserve powered entirely by renewable energy.
Embracing a clean energy stance
Loisaba’s CEO, Tom Silvester says they are looking forward to “Embrac[ing] the idea of living lightly on earth, minimising [their] carbon footprint and maintaining a clean, safe and sustainable environment.”
The use of saltwater batteries in tandem with SolarAfrica’s solar powered solutions” he claims, “is perfectly aligned with our approach to preserving nature, enabling us to generate power from the sun and store it for later use.”
Dr. Kobus van Tonder, Project Manager of Solar Africa, has said that the “Outcome of this project will make many significant changes to the way we use energy and how we perceive it.” The lodge will quickly descend into a blissfully quiet state, as the constant humming of generators is turned off.
Another great benefit of switching to solar energy, and storing it effectively, is that it’s now significantly cheaper than running diesel generators, which also means that the consumption of diesel decreases, as does the carbon footprint.
SEC energy storage solutions
At SEC we are excited to hear that more are joining us in the energy revolution. As manufacturers of solar panels and energy storage systems, we hope that renewable energy can lend itself to more electrification projects, particularly in places like Africa where access to grid power is often limited or unreliable.
Our batteries are specialist designed to suit off-grid, microgrid and grid-scale applications and are durable under deep cycle stress. In particular, our NiCad Avantgarde series requires little maintenance and is tolerant to the extreme temperatures found in environments like Kenya.
When choosing batteries for solar or microgrid projects it’s important to select those that hold up well despite regular incomplete charge and discharge cycles. SEC NiCad batteries offer this, as well as many other advantages, and are a great choice for rural electrification projects in extreme environments.