PURAMS: Productive Use in Rural African Markets using Standalone Solar

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Work Package (WP)

The PURAMS project will be developed as LEAP-RE WP 10.

Location

The project will be implemented in Mozambique, Rwanda and Kenya.

Partners

Lead: Strathmore University

Overall Objectives

This project aims to develop a standalone solar cooking appliance (cooker), to address the challenges caused by traditional cooking methods and faced by rural communities in Africa. The project will study cooking in three countries namely Mozambique, Rwanda and Kenya and develop a solar powered clean cooking solution for these areas. The specific objectives of the project can be summarized as follows:  

  • To do an off-grid market assessment for solar cooking, a solar resource assessment to enable cooker design and capacity assessment to support piloting of systems
  • To develop a standalone solar cooker and pilot it
  • To identify business models and engage policy makers to create an enabling environment
  • To develop or improve solar photovoltaic module technology for use in the cooker design
What are the concrete actions that will be implemented?

Data collection activities will be performed in Kenya, Rwanda and Mozambique to provide an outlook on local food types and required technical parameters. The collected data will include energy consumption, types of food, existing equipment for cooking, cooking times and other data points that are relevant for the project. 

Data collected from the previous action will be used to perform the analysis in order to develop suitable load profiles. This will include the definition of the available solar resource during the times of use of the cooker to increase the accuracy of the developed load profile. 

A cooker will be developed and based on an outlook of collected data. An acceptable design will be selected for prototyping based on design iterations and performance during simulation. The first prototype will be developed in consultation with prospective users and will be tested extensively in the laboratory. Design iterations will then be proposed to enable a satisfactory design that is safe for use and that provides the functionality required by prospective users. The developed standalone cooking appliances will be piloted in the laboratory using both recommended and fabricated modules to assure the safety and functionality of each cooker. Selected households in Kenya, Rwanda and Mozambique will then be provided the cookers for piloting using recommended modules. Usage data will be collected to enable further improvement of the cooker and to determine the suitability of the cooker to local foods. 

Existing solar PV technologies will be assessed based on above stated parameters, performance as specified by relevant standards, and existing state of the art literature on solar photovoltaics in the given localities. The most suitable PV technology will be selected and improvements to be carried out where identified. These improvements and any required fabrication will be done in the laboratory taking into consideration cost and performance implications. 

What is the expected impact of the WP?

Policy makers will be engaged to educate them on the benefits of electric cooking in general especially with regards to healthcare. They will also be provided recommendations on how they can enable the growth potential of electric cooking especially using standalone solar devices. 

Different business models for the selected geographies will be explored in order to select, adapt and develop the most suitable ones.