Rural Kenyan Family Uses Old Car Battery for Greener Electricity


Photo via Afrigadget

In rural Kenya, most families don't have electricity. But that doesn't stop this family from getting their news and music on the radio. They use a recycled car battery that lasts far longer, is far cheaper, and far more green than other battery options. But there's one thing that would make it even greener.According to Afrigadget, "Fully charged the battery last 2 weeks. To recharge Maina has to take it to a place in town for 24 hours at a cost of Ksh 50 (about 80 cents US. If he were to use ordinary batteries Maina would be paying several hundreds of shillings per month (15$) and creating toxic waste with their disposal (Kenya has no battery disposal system). No wonder used batteries are in such huge demand!"

Afrigadget mentions the same thing we were thinking while reading the post - it would be wonderful for the family to be able to charge the battery at their home with solar power, making it an even greener and cheaper option in the long run.

However, that would likely mean needing two batteries, so that one could be charging while the other is being used since charging it up would take quite awhile in the sun with a practically-sized solar array. Yet in many African countries solar is an excellent source of power because a) there are so many days of sunshine in most of Africa and b) there is less of a need for expensive infrastructure for electricity transmission. A solar panel set up at this family's home could power their car battery and give them enough juice for their radio and hopefully also lighting.

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Tags: Africa | Alternative Energy | Do It Yourself | Electronics