Pumped hydro dams are prominently used as energy storage in East Africa, but that is changing with the increase in renewable energy and battery energy storage systems. The Eastern Africa countries have announced a total of more than 2,000 MW in new solar PV and wind power projects over the next three years. Battery systems in both Front Of The Meter (FOTM) and Behind The Meter (BTM) applications provide for energy access leading to rural electrification, diesel generator replacement, and support grid systems.


Countries such as Libya, Egypt, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda are in Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP). In East Africa, pumped hydro dams are usually the main source of energy storage. In essence, a scan across most countries in the region shows that reliance on hydroelectricity is significant. Lately, other sources of generation, namely wind and solar, are starting to be built at utility-scale, and that has driven the conversation towards deployment of battery energy storage. This storage interest is particularly strong in Kenya, where variable renewable energy generation now accounts for 14% of installed generation capacity.

The Eastern Africa countries have announced more than 2,000 MW in new solar PV and wind power projects. These new projects are estimated to start online over the next three years. On the commercial and industrial front, Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) technologies have made headway, especially in both Front Of The Meter (FOTM) and Behind The Meter (BTM) applications.

The use cases lend themselves to three broad categories:

Energy Access Projects / Rural Electrification

Diesel Abatement / Replacement

Weak Grid Mitigation.

Energy access / Rural electrification

Various rural electrification programs and private sector-led investments across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan have deployed dozens of hybrid micro-grids (solar plus BESS plus generator). These represent the most common and only FOTM BESS applications in the region. Lead-acid batteries have dominated the market space due to lower capital expenditures (Capex), but Lithium BESS installations are making their mark.

Energy access projects are designed to provide towns and villages with reliable and cost-effective renewable energy, often displacing diesel generators and the darkness.

Some projects include:

A 2.3 MWh BESS coupled with a 450KWp solar PV site in Eritrea

A 1.9 MWh BESS coupled with a 400KWp solar PV at another site in Eritrea

A 2 MWh BESS coupled with a 1.5MWp solar PV site in DRC

Ethiopian Government pilot program with 6.5 MWh of BESS spread across 12 rural electrification sites

Kenyan Government pilot program with 11.2 MWh of BESS spread across 7 rural electrification sites.

Diesel abatement

This market segment has seen several hybrid mini-grids deployed to supplant thermal generation as the primary power source in commercial facilities that are situated away from the reach of the main grid. With the prices of the primary fuel source, diesel in the region of USD $1.00/liter, which translates into a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of USD $0.35/kWh, a combined solar + BESS LCOE in the region of USD $0.18-$0.25 has proven very competitive. Adoption has, however, been slowed down by the high initial Capex associated with switching. More is needed to provide well-matched financing to spur uptake.

Notable diesel abatement projects include:

A 1.3MWh BESS paired with a 660KWp at a game lodge in Kenya

A 500kWh BESS at an off-grid lodge in Tanzania

A 700kWh BESS at an office complex in South Sudan

Weak grid mitigation

In industrial hubs, most activity in Eastern Africa is concentrated, which is well supplied by the national grid. However, you do come across agricultural-processing facilities that are located relatively far from these industrial parks. Often, they happen to be situated at the end of a long distribution line with brownouts. Brownouts are voltage and frequency fluctuations leading to equipment at the factory sites being damaged or rendered unusable. By combining on-site generation (Solar PV) and BESS, grid-interactive mini-grids solve the brownouts problem. The advanced BESS controls enable these sites to monitor grid conditions and island the site when there is a grid outage or severe deterioration on power quality.

A notable weak grid mitigation project is a 4 MWh BESS co-located with a 1.5MW Solar PV + grid at a Tea Plantation and factory in Kenya.

Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) batteries were initially made for use in laptops, cell phones, and other consumer electronics but they have grown to become a major battery technology for power storage systems. In addition, they have become the most common battery type in modern electric cars.

Batteries play the same role in inverter and solar systems, namely, they provide the DC that is to be converted to AC by the inverter for use in appliances. Lithium-ion also store energy produced from solar panels for later use. All batteries have essentially the same components: electrolytes, positive and negative terminals, and separators integrated into ‘cells’.

Everything To Know About Batteries Inverter 

These components are often differentiated based on the nature of the material from which they are made. The most important and definitive component of all batteries, the electrolytes, may be in liquid form as in lead-acid batteries or in the semi-solid gel form. In the case of LIB, lithium salts dissolved in an organic solvent are used. Also, there may be variances in the type of electrodes or terminals. For LIB, the positive electrode is a metal oxide, and the electrolyte is a lithium salt in an organic solvent. (Water is not used as a solvent as lithium reacts vigorously with water.)

The most popular negative electrode used in the manufacture of LIB is graphite.

The positive electrode is generally one of the three-layered materials of lithium salts. Recently, graphene-containing electrodes (based on 2D and 3D structures of graphene) have also been used as components of electrodes for lithium batteries.

The electrolyte is typically a mixture of organic carbonates containing mixtures of lithium salts. A modified variant of Li-ion batteries, the lithium polymer battery, or more correctly lithium-ion polymer battery (abbreviated as LiPo, LIP, Li-poly, lithium-poly, and others), uses a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte.

Advantages of lithium-ion
  1. Their main attraction is that they do not require constant maintenance. They are a type of sealed maintenance-free battery types.
  2. Also, they weigh far less than other types of rechargeable batteries of the same size and output capacities. The reason is that the electrodes of a lithium-ion battery are made of lightweight materials. It takes up less space and is thus more suitable when there are space considerations.
  3. They do not have to completely discharge before recharging, as with some other battery technologies. They have a very much longer life than other battery types.
  4. Comparatively, Li-ion batteries charge extremely faster than other rechargeable batteries. The reason why lead-acid batteries require a three-stage charging profile where each stage progressively lowers the charge current and can be bulk-charged up to 80%, then absorption-charged from 80% to about 95%, and then float-charged to 100%. Li-ion batteries however do not have such a similar three-stage charging and can be bulk-charged all the way up to 100%.
  1. Li-ion batteries can withstand very rugged power conditions than other types of batteries. They can supply electricity to very high-power appliances.
  2. Under the same conditions, LIB is far more efficient than lead-acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries only have a charge efficiency of 85%. This means that for every 1A sent to the batteries, only .85A are store for use. Lithium batteries however have a charge efficiency of 99% so nearly every amp sent to them is store and usable. Therefore, a lead-acid battery bank will require a 15% larger – and more expensive – solar array to charge it as fast as a comparably sized lithium battery bank.
  3. The lifespan of lithium batteries is significantly higher than that of normal lead-acid batteries! Some manufacturers warranty their Li-ion batteries to last 10,000 cycles. Most lead-acid batteries are only rated for 400 cycles or less. This means li-ion batteries will last ten times longer than their lead-acid The lifespan of lithium batteries is significantly higher than that of normal lead-acid batteries! Some manufacturers warranty their Li-ion batteries to last 10,000 cycles. Most lead-acid batteries are only rated for 400 cycles or less. This means li-ion batteries will last ten times longer than their lead-acid
Disadvantages of lithium-ion
  1. The single most important disadvantage of LIB is its cost. They cost up to three times the cost of conventional batteries per Ah.
  2. They are extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Heat causes lithium-ion battery packs to degrade much faster than they normally would.
  3. They have a very low shelf life thus when in storage, they have to be recharged from time to time. Also, they have to be stored under temperatures lower than 40 degrees. (The shelf life of a battery is the time an inactive battery can be stored before it becomes unusable. It is usually considered as having only 80% of its initial capacity. The conditions under which a battery is stored either by the dealer or the user will determine its shelf life and in turn, eventual lifespan.
  1. Again, if lithium-ion completely discharges, it will be permanently damaged. Typically, this is accounted for as many inverters will automatically shut down when their batteries are being discharged below their depth of discharge because the batteries may be permanently damaged if fully discharged.
  2. They require an onboard protection circuit to maintain the battery voltage. This makes them even more expensive than they already are because of their manufacturing costs. The goal of the protection circuit is to limit the peak voltage of each cell during charge and prevent the cell voltage from dropping too low on discharge. In addition, it helps to monitor the cell temperature to prevent temperature extremes. With these precautions in place, the possibility of metallic lithium plating occurring due to overcharge is virtually eliminated.
  3. There is a small chance that, if a lithium-ion battery pack fails, it will burst into flame.
  4. There are often transportation restrictions on the shipment of larger quantities. (This restriction does not apply to personal carry-on batteries.)


Recently, more homeowners are opting for the installation of solar power systems (also known as the solar panel system) in their homes. Unlike in the past decades when there was much dependence on primary sources of energy like coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy as the major source of electricity. Technology has evolved in recent years with even better alternatives and one of these alternatives is solar power systems.

The solar power system offers an excellent way of harnessing solar energy and then transforming it into electrical energy, which we use mostly at home. There are different benefits of installing the solar panel kit for home and one of such benefits is that it saves you enormously on your power bills.

Harnessing solar energy seems to be the future of energy in the few years to come as it has witnessed much growth across different regions of the world such as China, Europe, North America, and even India. Some regions such as Africa and Nigeria, in particular, are yet to embrace fully this innovative approach to generate energy for use in the home.

The idea behind the use of the solar panel system is that homes reduce their cost of energy, save more, and maximize their carbon footprint as well. Personally, I would say there is no better way of generating efficient energy for your home than the use of the solar panel system.

What is a solar power system?

The solar power system consists of the solar panel kit which is mounted on the roof of a building. It traps the energy-packed photons from the sunlight and converts them into a usable form of energy. They are also simply referred to as “PV”.

When you install the solar panel kit for home. You have done a great job of reducing your dependence on the local community power grid. This means you can now utilize the solar panel kit to generate the electricity needed to light, cool, heat, and operate your home.

The summary is that you will get a clean, renewable source of energy, which requires little or no maintenance. Also, you will get the profits from this investment over a span of a few years. Some solar systems come with as much as 25 years warranty and this means you get free energy for more than 2 decades.

What constitutes the solar panel kit for the home?

You need to understand that the solar power system consists of different components, which are coupled to generate electricity. These components will cause the conversion of power into alternating current. Which can be used for powering home appliances, maintaining safety at home, and even storing excess energy.
Here the very important components of the solar power system.

Solar Panels

These very significant components are noticeable in the solar panel kit for the home. They are typically installed on the roof where they can have easy access to the sunlight converting it into electrical energy via the photovoltaic effect. This is how it got its alternative name, “PV panels”.

Solar panel outputs are rated in Watts and delivers between 10 to 300watts per panel. There are majorly two types of solar panels that are ideal for residential home installation- the monocrystalline and the polycrystalline. While both are well suitable for the home, the monocrystalline panel is a bit more efficient and expensive than later.

Solar Inverter

Solar inverters offer a means of converting the Direct Currents generated by the solar panels into the Alternating Current required in powering the home. They are of three types- micro-inverters, centralized or string inverters, and power optimizers.
Just by discussing what you want and of course, assessing your home. I would tell you the ideal type to install in your home.

Solar Array Mounting Racks

Solar panels are coupled into arrays and then mounted either on the roof, directly into the ground, or on poles. It is more common to come across roof-mounted systems as this seems to be more efficient and better aesthetically. If the roof is too high, there might be an issue with maintenance here.

However, you do not have to worry much about that, as panels don’t usually require much maintenance.
If you prefer your panels mounted on a freestanding pole, that is still okay. I could do the installation such that its height cant affect the maintenance if the need arises. Remember that mounting an array on the ground isn’t ideal for areas that accumulate snow regularly.

Mounts are either tracking or fixed irrespective of where you mount the arrays. Tracking arrays move to adjust their angles as the sun moves.

Array DC Disconnect

This device comes into play when you want to run maintenance on the solar arrays. The solar arrays produce DC power and with the array DC disconnect, you can get it disconnected from the home.

Solar Performance Monitor

The monitoring system functions to verify the performance of your home solar system. While the system shows you how much electricity is produced per hour. It goes ahead to identify potential changes in performance.

Solar Storage Bank

The solar power kit for home produces electricity when the sun is shining during the daytime. However, your home will still need electricity at night or even on cloudy and rainy days when the sun is not shining. This is when you need to add a battery pack to your panel system in order to offset that mismatch.

Circuit breaker/Breaker Panel

The power source which connects the electrical circuits in the house is what we call a breaker panel. While a circuit is a continuous pathway that connects all lights and outlets in the electric system.

There is a circuit breaker for each circuit and the work of the circuit breaker is to prevent an unfortunate occurrence such as fire hazard as a result of excessive drawing in of electricity. The circuit breaker does this by tripping off each time the circuit demands much electricity thus, interrupting the flow of current through the circuit.

Benefits of Solar Panel kit for Home

Solar energy is renewable. It is sustainable and is simply inexhaustible. As people have realized the benefits of the solar power system, most people nowadays are opting for it. The good news is that I have a versed knowledge of this system and can have it installed efficiently and at an affordable rate.

Now, what do you stand to gain when you have the solar panel system installed in your home?

It saves cost

This is the number one reason why people opt for solar energy in the home but there is more to it. It offers a great opportunity for people looking to reduce their monthly electricity bills and to go into a longer duration investment with low risk.

You should, however, know that the savings you will get from going solar will depend on certain factors like the amount of energy you consume, the size of the solar energy system, the angle and size of your roof, the local electricity charge rates as well as the number of hours of direct daily sunlight.

Solar Power System Works Everywhere

Solar panel system works almost everywhere in the world. It is surprising to know that even some regions of the world like Alaska and the Pacific Northwest with relatively low solar resources still get to benefit and save some cost using solar energy.

How much more countries like Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, etc. are located in the tropical sub-Saharan region? These countries could boast of good-to-excellent solar resources and should do well to harness the resource they have.

It Increases Your Home Value

Increase the value of your home by installing the solar panel kit for your home. This is like an upgrade to your home. Maybe you don’t know this but studies have shown that homeowners pay even higher rents for a home with a solar power system.

According to a study carried out by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It revealed that the solar system on average increased the value of a home by as much as $15,000. This also means that homes with solar installed systems have the tendency of selling more than homes that do not have PV.

It Has Positive Environmental Impact

It is high time we think about our environment as well. We feel the impact of the environment directly or indirectly. The use of fuel, coal, etc. as a source of energy has over the years created much greenhouse effect which has accumulated and has been causing more harm than good to the environment.

Using the solar power system offers an excellent remedy to this. Asides the fact that using the solar-generated electricity doesn’t cause pollution of air, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions like CO2. It also prevents excessive pollution of air by major pollutants like nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides. It also reduces the need to consume more water.