Batteries are a viable answer to some of SA's electricity problems

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30th Apr, 2020

At Enertec Batteries (Pty) Ltd, we are committed to making high-quality batteries readily available to all who need them, and we have been distribution batteries in Southern Africa for over 30 years.


This article will look at some of the solutions batteries can provide to rural communities, who often do not have access to reliable electricity. The battery is a safe and cost-effective alternative source of power for various household solutions. Battery energy is used extensively in providing solutions to every day household needs such as electric lighting, refrigeration, television, wifi / internet, Uninterruptable Power Supplies for computers, alarm systems, electric gates, garage motors etc.


Sub-Saharan Africa is unfortunately still home to large communities who have little to no access to electricity at all. It is in these populations, that there is a growing need for batteries for power storage.


The good news is that the price of batteries remains affordable and this market has understandably experienced much growth in the past few decades.


In rural areas, when using a good quality battery storage system for power needs, you can enjoy a much more reliable way of powering homes and businesses when compared with diesel generators and fire. Diesel generators have many disadvantages but the main drawbacks are that they are noisy and are about three times more expensive to run and to maintain than a battery storage system. In addition, a diesel generator pollutes the surrounding air, posing a health risk to those who live and work around it. Purchasing the diesel itself can prove costly, especially in areas where the demand exceeds the supply.


Developing countries and rural communities are now seeing the benefits to battery storage systems which result in far fewer blackouts and are much more cost-effective to operate.


In countries where the power grid is unstable, local power utility organisations are now looking to developing widespread battery storage capacity to integrate a renewable energy capacity and to help stabilise their very fragile power grids.


Over the past few years, we have seen a lot of repurposing of old electric vehicle batteries. These can be reused as small energy storage systems (or ESS) in communities where traditional power is not reliable. Such batteries have been proven to be highly useful as a typical battery can hold 2kWh worth of energy capacity and this is enough to provide electricity to local homes, farms, and small businesses.


Electric vehicle batteries are no longer fit for purpose in the vehicle when the battery capacity is reduced to about 80% of its original capacity. Although this would no longer be sufficient to power the electric car, the battery is still extremely useful in a static environment where there is no reliable access to electricity.


When used sustainably, these batteries are given a new lease on life and can virtually transform the lives of those in rural communities.


Do you have any rural communities within your distribution node? If so, what is their access to electricity like? We are sure they are a number of people who would consider switching to battery power as a more reliable alternative if they had access to this kind of information.


If you had any thoughts with regards to this concept we would be happy to discuss opportunities.