Efficacy of solar power units for small-scale businesses in a remote rural area, South Africa

Hajat, A. and Banks, D. and Aiken, R. and Shackleton, C.M. (2009) Efficacy of solar power units for small-scale businesses in a remote rural area, South Africa. Renewable Energy, 34 (12). pp. 2722-2727. ISSN 0960-1481



Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2009.05.027


Much work has considered the practicalities and affordability of solar systems for domestic energy supplies in remote rural areas. There is less understanding of its utility for small-scale business enterprises in such areas. We examined the patterns of use of two 12 V and one 24 V systems for small-scale enterprises housed in transportable containers. Monitoring of load shed and top of charge indicated that the 12 V systems were inadequate to meet the requirements of the enterprises. The 24 V operation performed a lot better. Despite some technical limitations the system offered a number of social, economic and environmental positives; primarily the offering of business products not otherwise available in the area, incomes to the entrepreneurs and greater connectivity with regional centres through office services such as cell-phone charging and faxing. Customers of the small-scale enterprises felt that their presence in the area saved them some money because they no longer had to travel as frequently to regional urban centres.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:South Africa; KwaZulu-Natal; Uthungulu; Umkhanyakuda; Productive use container project; PUC; Load shed; Productive use container; Small-scale businesses; Solar power; Top of charge; Commercial use
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Environmental Science
ID Code:1445
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:17 Aug 2009
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:20
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