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[GEKnews] Corncobs into power: a Uganda case study + new ROI calculator

Making energy From “waste”– a case study in corn from Uganda

Group_Picture_GEK_Workshop-1As part of Richard Scott’s recent African field trip, he stopped in to help Pamoja Cleantech set up their new Power Pallets in Kampala, Uganda.  This project–as well as the previous one discussed in Liberia, and the one we’ll report on soon from Malawi– are all proof of concept projects for a larger roll out of rural electrification in Africa using biomass gasification.

Pamoja Cleantech’s gasifiers (Pamoja means “together as one” in Swahili) are running on corn cobs, with the energy being used to power a corn flour mill and various other purposes.  But it’s far more than that–this is perhapspj4the best realized example we’ve yet seen of how a Power Pallet can turn “waste” into added value for downstream agricultural users.

The Pamoja CleanTech project, funded in part by the Govt. of Sweden, UNIDO, and in partnership with Makarere University, among others,  aims to demonstrate on a commercial basis a unified “village hub” model of energy production, consumption, and value addition.   As they note, some 500% of the value in agricultural products is generated during processing. So tapping into that, and using agricultural waste as fuel, can create a powerful synergy of value generation. Here in a nutshell is their triple revenue model: click the image to link directly to their site.
 
The Pamoja team has been hard at work doing public demos as well; let us know if you’d like us to put you in touch with them.

What is on demand energy worth? Introducing the Power Pallet ROI Calculator

ROI calculator

How much is on-demand energy worth? And how quickly can a Power Pallet pay for itself? Here’s a great place to at least start finding answers. We’ve just launched a beta version of a Cost/Benefit calculator for a Power Pallet, as compared to off grid diesel. Enter your currency, likely cost for biomass and labor, as well as cost for diesel fuel. Then enter the number of Power Pallets, operating hours per day, and the model will tell you your likely cost per kWh, and how quickly they will earn back their investment–in many cases it’s less than two years!

Models like this are notoriously difficult to make robust enough to cover most situations, but it’s a good start.  We’ll be tweaking the model based on your feedback; send it to sales@allpowerlabs.org.
 
 
We’re now turning out new videos almost every week on our YouTube channel. Here’s a great new one:
Operating Power Pallet
Operating the Power Pallet: A step by step walk through of all you need to do to begin making electricity with your Power Pallet.

 

 

 

Correction: Documents on Liberia project.
Not all of the emails sent last week had the proper link to the impressive project documents from Liberia, including those outlining their creation of a Liberia Center for Biomass Energy. They are really worth a look, here’s the link.

Upcoming Events
We are doing a lot more events these days, come and see us:

Nov 7-8  Microgrid Deployment Workshop, Cancun, Mexico
November 8, Power Pallet Demo, Enzo Ferrari Dept. of Engineering, Modena, Italy
Nov 12-14 Power Gen International, Orlando, Florida

 
 
          

2 comments to Corncobs into power: a Uganda case study + new ROI calculator

  • Ryan Duarte

    It would be nice if you had a page to show and sell some nice hopper options and a page with disk chippers and machines to turn bio waste like saw dust into pellets. Adding these two pages would show the full picture and the full cost involved. It would also bring in more cash flow to your business. The best case scenario would include the disk chipper being attached to the hopper via some sort of conveyor so we can just put our firewood or construction waste directly into the machine and it will do all the work. Seems like a lot of my time is currently required to prep the fuel to the required specifications. Not to many people will have the time to chop up all the required biomass and screen it. More options to make this system and process simple is appealing.

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