By Donata Mpochela
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-As per human beings, we all have something to contribute towards the development of our nation. Five years ago childhood friends, Peter Chris Mango and Benedict Kankhulungo realized that Malawi needs better power options due to the ever-growing demand for electric power in the country.
The pair took up a challenge to find solutions to this problem and Clean Energy Engineering Limited was born (CEEL). Together they invented and built a unified solar energy system.
According to CEEL Technical Director, Kankhulungo described unified solar energy system as a way of boosting the out-put of solar power.
“If the power of the solar energy is 100 Watts and when this solar energy penetrates the out-put is 200 Watts. Am sorry to say that this opposes the rule of physics which says you can create or destroy energy, but if you have energy of 100 Watts you can’t boosts it to 200 Watts and this system opposes this law,” Kankhulungo explained how there solar energy system works.
The ever-growing of this unified solar energy idea was developed by Benedict after he saw the high demand for electric power in the country.
“The idea started after I wrote my Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), I saw the ever-growing demand for electric power in Malawi and through the encouragement from people basing on the inborn skills it gathered my momentum to start thinking of developing a unified solar energy system for our nation.
“In 2012 I started working on the unified solar power and that’s when Peter and the others came to join me. I will tell you that I didn’t go far with my education, I only have an MSCE and in my team there is no one who studied anything to deal with neither electrical engineering nor technical courses. Peter studied Land Administration,” Kankhulungo said.
However, this technology is a first of its kind. The first unit was installed at Shire Eco Safari Camp, an eco-lodge in their township (Liwonde). It is an invention that could possibly end most power access and outage problems that Malawians face.
When years passed of making this innovation, starting from 2013 to 2019, CEEL had developed over 30 solar energy systems which were on the market but the remaining part was to promote it through launching the solar power.
CEEL through a grant worth US$5,419 (MK4 million) from World Connect constructed a Chinduzi Health Post which will be powered by their clean energy invention (unified solar system).
This health post is located in Group Village Head (GVH) Chipamba in Machinga district. This will serve a population of over 15,000 people living in the surrounding people living in the communities of Likwenu, Naungu, Liwonde secondary school, and Chinduzi.
“I am very sure that over 11, 000 or 15,000 people from Chipamba and the surrounding communities will benefit from this, lives will be save because the nearest health facility for this community approximately is 18Kilometers,” explained Benedict.
Speaking during the organized ground breaking ceremony for the health post slated on September 25, 2020 at Chinduzi Health Post in Machinga, Benedict said the heath will improve heath access.
“This Health Post is powered by a solar driven technology and the innovation has the ability to double the output power of a solar panel. In other words, 100 watt power solar panel will give power that is normally generated with two 100 solar panels.
“This technology reduces solar panel costs, in addition, it is not affected by weather due to the unique ability of being able to double output power,” Benedict said.
He added; “The solar system will help Malawian because the costs of solar panels are very expensive for a person to have a normal power let’s say on a normal circumstance there is need of purchasing 300 Watts or 400 Watts which is very expensive to buy this power, but our panel cuts the costs.
He further said the solar panel does not have limitation because it designed with different sizes basing on what the customer wants.
“It does not have a fixed power, it depends this is why the power system is designed basing on what the customer wants,” Kankhulungo said.
World Connect Malawi Country Director, Frank Charles Kasonga said their interest is to support or fund sustainable locally-led projects that are building self-reliance across the country.
“We supported CEEL people see problems in their communities and for us we want to prove that development can be done in different ways and can be done cheaply because people invest 25 percent of the project for instant skilled labour and others.
“As you can see project estimation costs were US$7000 Dollars for this whole building to work, the community had to participate and invested their needs. In that way the project is sustainably developed and they can take care of the security needs because it is coming from them as they invested in it,” Kasonga said.
Commenting on the development, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Machinga, Likwenu area, Bright Msaka said the development will transform the area.
“I am impressed with Clean Energy for this development of investing solar energy to a health post, however, he fascinated that the production of electricity will raise power capacity in the entire community and the nation,” Msaka said.
Msaka highlighted that such innovations are a catalyst for attracting business in the country. He further said it is pleasing to note that CEEL has come at a time where physically transactions are being discouraged but with the technology it will provide good health services in the community.
Ministry of Energy, Newton Kambala expressed satisfaction with the unique technology of a unified solar system.
Kambala hinted that, with the progress of power using such innovations in the country, the country will be able to close the supply and demand gap, where currently demand is high than supply.