Did you know that Africa’s capacity for solar energy is tremendous, equaling 90-100 million tonnes of oil annually?
Africa’s fast economic growth poses a significant energy supply problem. The problem is compounded by growing demands for more stability and efficiency. Thus, one of the continent’s most pressing development problems is finding a long-term solution to satisfy rising energy needs.
Africa has a multitude of renewable energy resources at its disposal. These energy sources include hydro, solar, winds, and others.
The time has come to guarantee and implement the appropriate energy mix. Moreover, decisions taken today will have a long-term impact on the continent’s energy industry.
Are you living in Africa and are looking for a dependable source of energy? This article will explain where to go to get a dependable energy source.
Energy Supply in Rural Areas in Africa
The ability to access electricity is critical for people’s lives and livelihoods. For example, it is essential for:
- Healthy storage of food
- Storage of medication in fridges
- Charging of cellphones
- Lighting and powering up homes and schools
- Powering small local businesses
Despite this, 590 million people in Africa still lack access to electricity, with the bulk living in rural regions. As a result, these regions run the danger of falling even farther behind.
Although many nations in other areas of the globe have developed a dependable power source that we see today, Africa is running out of time. Africa needs a power source now to meet the growing energy demand!
Renewable energy is the way forward, and ramping it up to satisfy the requirements of whole countries is proving to be a quest. Is it possible to find the “magic formula” of energy storage? The answer is a simple — yes in batteries.
Using Batteries As an Energy Supply
In parts of Africa, we know, the infrastructure is sometimes unstable. So people are starting to use battery power as an energy source.
That source of power enables them to be self-sufficient. Furthermore, it enables them to have dependable electricity in rural regions or regions prone to blackouts.
Whenever you require energy, the energy stored in batteries and inverters is available for use. When energy demand surpasses the production of renewable energy sources, you can use the energy stored in batteries can in a stand-alone power system, for example, on a cloudy day or wind power on a still day.
Various energy conversion devices, such as inverters, convert energy from one form to a different type of power. For example, when used in a grid-connected renewable energy system, an inverter transforms direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). As a result, you can use the electricity generated by solar panels, wind turbines or water power once transformed in the grid.
Additionally, every renewable energy system requires circuit breakers, switches, and fuses to guarantee electrically safe. It also enables you to separate key equipment for maintenance purposes.
Systems Using Batteries to Connect to the Grid
To integrate renewable resources into the grid, a grid-connected system transforms DC power from sources like solar panels to AC power. Inverters and meters are common components.
In a power outage, a grid-connected renewable energy system may use energy from solar panels.
You can use battery banks linked to the grid and equipped with an appropriate converter as an uninterruptible power supply. Depending on the situation, the battery bank then provides electricity during a power outage for all or part of the electrical loads in a house or company.
Stand-Alone Power Systems
A stand-alone power system provides energy in rural and isolated areas when on-site production is cheaper than connecting to the grid. Stand-alone power grids usually comprise the following components:
- A source of power as in solar panels, wind and water turbines
- A bank of batteries
- An inverter
- A battery charger
- Sometimes a fuel generator for backup purposes
Each system also requires a charge controller or regulator, which may already be a part of the inverter or separate from the system. Finally, you need batteries and inverters in a stand-alone system. This is regardless of whether you generate the energy by wind, solar, or small hydro sources.
You determine the precise equipment required to convert and store energy by the requirements and budget of the user. It also depends on the availability of energy resources and the physical limitations of the location.
What Batteries Are Used For Energy Supply?
Lead-acid batteries are frequently used in the production of renewable energy. However, although lithium batteries are more costly than lead-acid batteries, they are becoming cheaper and can last for a much longer period of time.
Nickel iron batteries are more difficult to come by and less effective than lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries, but they have a far longer life span. In renewable energies, you can use flow batteries, although they are complicated and costly to install.
The majority of batteries are made up of several cells. Battery bank voltages of 12, 24, 48, or 120 Volts are often used in stand-alone power systems.
Batteries may be provided as a monoblock. However, they are most often supplied as single 2V cells combined on-site into a full battery. For example, a 12-volt battery is made up of six 2 volt cells, etc. Battery banks should hold a reserve of energy for many days. Normally 3 to 7 days.
Wet cell and sealed lead-acid batteries both utilize an acidic electrolyte. Wet cells make use of a liquid electrolyte. Sealed batteries make use of either a gel or a liquid electrolyte absorbed into a fibreglass matt.
While wet batteries are more prevalent in renewable energy systems, sealed batteries are becoming increasingly popular due to their increased safety and ease of maintenance.
If the battery bank’s capacity is sufficient and use is minimal (less than 10% energy per day), the battery life should last at least ten years.
Renewable Sustainable Energy Is the Future!
Solar energy on its own can provide more than enough energy supply for the whole of Africa.
However, just a small percentage of the continent’s potential has been realized, making Africa the poorest energy supply. Africa’s energy demand is growing, although it still accounts for just 3.3 per cent of the world’s overall energy use. Increased population, industry growth, and development are all contributing factors to this rise.
This future won’t happen by itself. However, a guaranteed supply chain for batteries will contribute to an easy and affordable alternative energy supply into Africa.
Contact us for all your battery supplies. Our team is dedicated to creating innovative energy solutions that surpass customer needs globally.