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Ulster University is improving lives in Sub-Saharan Africa through its SolaFin2Go energy research project

  • An off-grid energy access project in Botswana has been developed by Ulster University, which is going to have the scope to transform standards of living for people in Sub-Sahara Africa.

    Ulster University actively supports research across many key sectors, and nowhere does that have the biggest impact on the lives on people than in developing areas of the world where new technological solutions can be found for regional problems. Now a team from the university led by Dr Jayanta Mondol is making waves in Sub-Saharan Africa with new energy technology.

    A new "SolaFin2Go" pilot scheme aims to invests in reliable, affordable and secure distributed energy solutions for communities with unreliable or no energy grid connection. This is the first scheme of its kind and has been supported through Ulster University by its commercial partners dpSun, Empowered, and SolarForm Ltd.

    The scheme is currently powering buildings in Botswana, including a primary school with 150 pupils which now benefits from up to 2Kwh of electricity per day to power computers and other electrical equipment. Over 1.3 billion globally still lack access to electricity, making schemes of this nature and the development off off-grid energy technology vital to developing and emerging countries.

    "Prior to the commencement of this project, the school spent up to £100 per month to run an inefficient and unreliable generator. There was previously no fridge at the school and hot water was a rarity as it had to be produced laboriously by boiling pots of water," explained Dr Adrian Pugsley, Research Associate in SolaFIn2Go Project.

    Solaform Ltd Director Dr Mervyn Smyth set out the scope of the problem this project hopes to tackle, explaining that “This project has the potential to transform standards of living for over 600 million people in Sub-Sahara Africa who live without access to electricity, with 90% of the population directly burning solid fuel for cooking, boiling water, lighting and heating."

    SOURCE: Ulster University Press Release

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