Solar Market Outlook in Kenya
There is an ongoing debate in Kenya’s energy sector because of the growing shift towards solar energy. The leading electricity distributor in Kenya has cited a decrease in revenue as more consumers and businesses are shifting towards solar power.
The proponents of solar energy continue to champion the benefits of this renewable energy source and consumers are shifting to solar power generation, which continues to eat further into the traditional electric distributors’ profits. The high cost of electricity and taxes are the primary motivation to consider renewable energy as an alternative source. As of now, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority in Kenya has reported that solar energy accounts for 1% of the country’s current electricity mix. And yet, the country’s location in the equatorial zone means that it has high potential for solar energy. Solar is, therefore, looked at as a viable energy source and as part of the effort to achieve carbon emission goals. Despite having the highest exposure to the sun, Kenya is the most underdeveloped in terms of solar PV capacity. The wider adoption of solar energy will require education and training to succeed.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Kenya
There is a lack of domestic suppliers and distributors of solar power equipment. They rely on the importation of these supplies from global and online suppliers and distributors.
Top Major Seaports & Logistics in Kenya
There are plenty of commercial ports in Kenya wherein solar equipment can be transported. Some of them include
- the Port of Shimoni,
- Kilindini Harbor,
- Port Tudor,
- Port Reitz, Port of Kiunga,
- Port of Lamu,
- Port of Mombasa,
- Port of Mbaraki.
Flooded Lead Acid Battery
When you switch to solar energy, particularly to solar photovoltaic systems, you will be dealing with different types of solar batteries. The battery is one of the main components of a solar PV system that you should take a deeper understanding of. However, understanding and differentiating these solar batteries might be confusing to some, especially for those who are only new to the solar energy community.
For today’s article, we will explain how important it is to understand the basics of solar batteries and highlighting one of the common solar battery types, which is the flooded lead-acid battery.
What is Flooded Lead-Acid Battery?
A flooded lead-acid battery is the most common type of deep cycle solar battery in the market compared to a sealed lead-acid battery and other lead-acid batteries. These lead-acid batteries are sometimes called “wet cell” lead-acid batteries and have been on the market for many decades. They are also the least expensive solar storage battery upfront next to Lithium-ion solar batteries, which are the most cost-effective ones.
Flooded lead-acid batteries and sealed lead-acid batteries are always being compared with one another due to their almost same performance, depth of discharge abilities, warranty, and cycle life. The largest difference between the two lead-acid battery types is their battery maintenance.
How Do Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries Differ From Other Lead-acid Batteries?
For a flooded lead-acid battery, you need to add water so often for their maintenance, you also have to perform periodic equalization needs. The specific gravity of the electrolyte also needs to be measured frequently with a hydrometer.
Another factor that makes a flooded battery differ from other batteries is that it can off-gas hydrogen in particular battery charging conditions. Since it can off-gas hydrogen, you need to vent the battery needing to release all the accumulated fumes. On the other hand, a sealed lead-acid battery does not require any high maintenance nor not require battery venting, making its spot next to a flooded lead-acid battery and popular to solar users who don’t want to deal with battery high maintenance. However, a sealed lead-acid battery due to the inability to maintain the battery, may not perform at its maximum levels, making the flooded lead-acid battery remain the most ideal solar battery.
Flooded Lead-Acid Battery Maintenance
While the flooded lead-acid battery is the most common and economic solar battery on the market, it will only reach its expected lifespan if you know how to maintain them properly. These lead-acid batteries usually contain an electrolyte that can freely move inside the battery encasement. When it is being charged, its battery acid and lead plates usually react to store electricity. Thus, they are meant to be placed upright so that the electrolyte will not leak out of the caps on top. Also, you must check the levels monthly and topped them off with distilled water to reach their longest possible lifespan.
Is it Worth it to Buy for a Solar PV System?
Aside from its durability, performance, and depth of discharge abilities, using flooded lead-acid deep cycle batteries for your solar energy storage will save you from hefty costs. Among the other lead-acid battery, they are the most cost-effective battery with the lowest cost per amp-hour and cost per kWh cycle. With all of the mentioned advantages of a flooded lead-acid battery, it is surely worth buying for your solar PV system.