Sharp : Bringing Light and Power to the Dark Continent - massive potential to improve living standards of the whole continent
At the African Fair 2008, in Yokohama, (held in conjunction with the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) ) Sharp Corp are modestly showing a stand-alone photovoltaic packaged power system (Autonomy-Enhanced Solar Power Generation System) composed of a solar-cell module and a storage battery which could transform African urban life in the next 2 decades.
Aimed at off grid areas in Africa - not difficult, when say only 5% of houses in Tanzania are on the electricity power grid , they hope to have this available for sale by 2010. Costs remain unknown but they are talking leasing deals and the Li-ion battery manufactured by Eliiy Power Co Ltd are (currently) expensive.
In an earlier announcement in February a figure of ¥500,000 (£2,350) was used but there was no in ication if this was for the smaller or larger unit. At the right price the commercial potential is hummungous and display that misdirection of the Mrs Jellaby like tendencies of Gordon Brown and Mr Cameron who have strapped useless windmills on their chimney stacks in the facile belief that they have somehow transformed the world environment.
Sharp have just announced their collaboration (approx US$6 mn) on producing the Li-ion battery and have taken up 32% common stock of Eliiy Power through third-party allotment. Daiwa House Industry Co. and Dai Nippon Printing Co. will also own equal shares in the enterprise. The Press release says, "The two companies will collaborate to commercialize the autonomy-enhanced solar power generation system, for which demand is expected to grow."
The stand alone show product uses the Sharp thin-film Si solar cells with a tnadem structure and they claim conversion efficiency after stabilization is 8.5%.
While the output of a crystalline Si solar cell is lowered by 0.5% when the temperature rises by 1°C, the reduction of output in a thin-film Si solar cell is only 0.25%/°C at the most. This they claim makes their thin film tchnology is more appropriate for regions with high ambient temperatures.
The system comes in two types, one composed of a 90W solar-cell module combined with a 1,024Wh Li-ion battery and the other with a 360W module and a 4,096Wh battery.
Sharp claim a fully-charged 1,024Wh Li-ion battery can power the lighting equipment (5 hours a day), a radio (5 hours a day) and a fan (2 hours a day) for 3 days.
A fully-charged 4,096Wh battery, can power lighting (4 hours a day), a fan (2 hours a day), a TV (2 hours a day) and a refrigerator (24 hours a day) for 3 days.
TICAD IV have produced a series of maps of Africa which are well worth examining this one on transport ... click to enlarge
Perhaps Sharp are doing more for the urban poor of Africa than USAFRICOM ever will.