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Small-scale portable photovoltaic-battery-LED systems with submersible LED units to replace kerosene-based artisanal fishing lamps for sub-Saharan African lakes

McHenry, M.P., Doepel, D., Onyango, B.O. and Opara, U.L. (2014) Small-scale portable photovoltaic-battery-LED systems with submersible LED units to replace kerosene-based artisanal fishing lamps for sub-Saharan African lakes. Renewable Energy, 62 . pp. 276-284.

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Link to Published Version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2013.07.002
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Abstract

A technical simulation and economic model was developed for a floating photovoltaic (PV)-battery system powering a submerged light emitting diode (LED) lighting system. The system was designed to provide around the equivalent of 1000 lumens (lm) of light of the existing light fishing technology (a floating pressurised kerosene light) for artisanal light fishers to use for 8h per night on Lake Victoria and other lakes in the region (Tanganyika, Rukwa, Mweru, Kivu, etc.). The net present cost (NPC) of a technically appropriate PV-battery-LED system was calculated as US$280 over 5 years, five-times less than the existing solar-based technology, a PV-battery-compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) system, and around ten times less than the baseline pressurised kerosene-based technology over the five years. Fishers owning the new PV-battery-LED system outright will likely recoup their initial investment within a year relative to the cost of alternatives, although the upfront capital cost of the new system was higher than the pressurised kerosene and PV-battery-CFL, and found to be practically unaffordable to the subsistence fishers without microcredit. Nonetheless, the technical simulations found that the new system was also able to provide additional lighting services during the day and evening, with little (if any) electrical impact on the system when in use for light fishing during the small hours of moonless nights. This research also demonstrates that the high cost of operating pressurised kerosene lamps precludes them for use in other applications within the community, including in homes. This research suggests that facilitated local development of appropriate new light fishing technology configurations will require training of local individuals to sensitise fishing communities to the new technology, and sustain wider adoption of the more efficient, cost-effective, and safer alternative.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/16188
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