Rental battery storage project offers clean energy to poor off-grid communities in Sierra Leone

The pay-as-you-go batteries are powered up at solar charging stations before being delivered to customers, reducing energy costs by up to 75%

A pioneering battery storage project developed by researchers of the University of Sheffield and the renewable energy company Mobile Power will provide clean energy to poor households in off-grid communities in Sierra Leone.

The pay-as-you-go batteries are powered up at solar charging stations before being delivered to customers, reducing energy costs by up to 75%.

The partners will also develop larger lithium-ion battery packs, which can both store energy for use in micro-grids and be rented out for household, transport and commercial use such as to run fridges for medicines in hospitals.

Professor Dan Gladwin, Professor in Electrical and Control System Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “These new battery packs can be swapped in or out of the microgrid without shutting down the power system and are designed to maximise the life of the battery cells under different applications.

“They can one day be providing power to a whole village and the next day be swapped out to drive the motor of an electric auto rickshaw. For households where the cost of connection to the mini-grid is prohibitively high, these packs are easily carried to the home and are capable of powering multiple devices for long durations.”

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