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    May 1, 2024

    Rehabilitation of lithium batteries for solar based electricity in Africa


    IEC battery

    Supported by IEC’s Global Impact Fund (GIF), the Norwegian company Differ Community Power (DCP), has been selected to determine the feasibility of using second life lithium batteries to rehabilitate solar photovoltaic (PV) installations at critical locations such as schools, health centers and hospitals in Kenya, East Africa. It is estimated that the project will improve the lives of up to 160 000 rural Kenyans through enabling reliable, clean sources of electricity.
    Access to electricity is a significant problem in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an overall electrification rate of under 50%. Batteries are seen as a key solution to this problem, yet they are expensive and complicated to maintain, resulting in significant amounts of waste.
    Apparently, private funding for electrification of critical social infrastructure generally focuses more on capital than
    operational expenditure, whereby solar PV systems installed become inoperable within a few years and do not receive end-of-life management or repair.
    For most of these systems, the batteries are the component that needs replacing, as most of the other components have a lifespan of more than ten years. Enabling the reuse of the batteries, therefore, enables the reuse of the entire solar PV plant.
    DCP shall provide second-life batteries that can be used to rehabilitate nine solar PV installations. The batteries will undergo both safety- and performance testing based on relevant international IEC standards.
    The project shall also be used as an opportunity to train local subcontractors on wiring regulations and commissioning procedures aligned to international standards. Real time remote monitoring of performance and environmental factors will be used for technical and economic feasibility analyses to further improve relevant standards.
    While off-grid solar (OGS) technologies provide lifechanging access to modern energy services for communities without other electricity, the batteries that run them are likely to be the first part to fail.
    So, this first GIF supported project is seen as an opportunity to develop a sustainable way to re-use the natural resources in batteries without a negative impact on the environment.

    For further information please contact the editor or /


    (The article is based on per IEC email and edited by T.Sollie)

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    Tags: Battery , Africa



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