HomeRegional NewsEast AfricaTechnology for electricity, drinking water in rural Kenya

Technology for electricity, drinking water in rural Kenya

The Microsol project has been inaugurated in Kenya, by Schneider Electric, the aim being to develop a single, modular standard technology for producing electricity, drinking water and heat simultaneously, primarily to benefit micro-industries located in rural areas of countries with high levels of sunshine, especially in Africa.

Microsol is based on the principle of cogeneration of electricity and heat, applying a new approach to a technology that is already widespread – solar thermodynamics. The solution focuses its constraints on the design of thermal storage that only uses environmentally-friendly products.

Its purpose is to simultaneously meet three basic needs: Access to electricity that is reliable, efficient and inexpensive; Clean drinking water that is produced economically and consistently; and Heat generation that is continuous and environmentally sound.

A Microsol solution produces 50 MWh/year of electricity, 1,000 m3/year of drinking water, and around 800 MWh/year of thermal energy. The solution has an expected life of at least 20 years.

“That technology can help Africa’s poorest countries,” Pradeep Monga, director of the Energy & Climate Change Branch of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), says.

After market research, a consortium led by Schneider Electric chose Kenya as pilot country for the industrialisation and commercialisation of Microsol. Kenya meets a set of favourable conditions for the establishment and development of this solution. The consortium plans to start the commercialisation phase in 2015.

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