Research and development to introduce local manufacturing of a modular upgradable off-grid solar system using trained local skills.

Long description

This is an ongoing research and development project that is seeking to introduce local manufacturing of a unique off-grid solar home lighting product that is modular, upgradable, affordable, durable, repairable, and environmentally friendly. Areas of focus:

  1. Skills development: recruitment and training of local technicians with diploma certificate level of education in electrical and electronics engineering on the technologies used in off-grid solar products manufacturing.
  2. Identification of local suppliers of quality electronic components: list all the electronic components as they appear in the design blueprints of the upgradable product for use in identifying local electronics retail outlets with quality supplies.
  3. Collaboration with companies with the capacity to produce component parts of the product: Use of an appropriate electronic circuit design software to generate Gerber files for use in the manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards by CET Manufacturing Limited in South Africa, and generate metal casing designs for the production of the product body by Gearbox Pan African Network Limited in Nairobi.
  4. Locally assembling lithium-ion batteries: the upgradable system requires customized batteries for the project. The project, therefore, imports quality 18650 lithium-ion cells from reputable companies abroad through an agent and then locally assembles them into battery capacities required by the project.

The project has already set up an electronic workshop, conducted skills training, produced prototypes that have since undergone performance testing by the VeraSol accredited University of Nairobi Lighting Laboratory, and produced 10-pre-production assembly builds that are currently undergoing field testing using target customers in Kisumu, Kenya.

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