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Togolese Startup Develops Africa's First Solar Sizing Software

Togolese startup develops Africa's first solar sizing software.   -  
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Sam McNeil/Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


KYA Software to Better Harness the Sun's Eneergy

How does one make the operation of photovoltaic panel systems efficient and less costly in Africa?

Researchers at this Togolese start-up who developed the first African solar sizing software have the answers — as after 5 years of studies, they discovered that the classical photovoltaic sizing calculation system had several inconsistencies that their software aims to correct.

Alain Tossa, the technical director of KYA-Energy Group, explains the groundbreaking findings that could greatly impact the power sector in Africa.

"We have noticed three concrete shortcomings. First, the energy balance. In the classical sizing method, there is no certain classification according to the use of energy. These elements have reinforced our analysis that we are now in the process of doing and so all this has enabled us to implement it to design a new method that we call "The KEG method" of sizing which is embedded in KYA SOL DESIGN the 1st African software of size calculations."

New Discoveries and New Possibilities

With their tests enabling them to better understand how the systems function, they realise that as opposed to storing energy to power equipment i.e. large batteries, the real need is for short-term smoothing storage to regulate the energy supply. Hence reducing costs in terms of investment in solar energy.

Kétowoglo Yao Azoumah, the CEO of KYA-Energy Group, outlines the usefulness of the updated approach as far as the direct results that would be felt within local communities.

"It's embarrassing to see that there's an aberration in the way the sizing is done. Mistakes that we have discovered, that we have worked on, that we have approached with solid science. And so the only way to make it more accessible was via software. This means that a system for example, that we're going to finance to feed 10 villages can feed 20 villages with the same cost today."

A Forwarding Moving Undertaking for Local Communities

A valued tool for technical and economic optimisation in this regional study centre and training in renewable energy.

Komla Awute, the Managing Director of the Regional Centre for Study and Training in Renewable Energy, affirms that the firsthand experience of the KYA staff adds an extra layer of efficiency when embarking upon solar energy endeavours.

"Kya Sol Design's sizing software takes reality into account. Sizing is a question of proportionality. The KYA has lived the energy reality of our environment. The group really knows what the population needs and how they consume energy."

The price drop of solar panels and batteries and the simplicity of their implementation make solar energy a competitive solution for improving access to electricity in Africa.

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