Replacement of Dry-Cell Batteries via Solar Charged Batteries
Presenter: Peter Adelemann and Catherina Adelmann
| Electric light has very important advantages compared to kerosene lamps and candles. Some modern devices for communications such as radios or cellular phones don’t work at all without electric power. This is the reason, why UN has declared electrification of un-electrified people as a millennium goal.
The use of PV solar energy is an attractive and popular way to electrify people. But at least in some
places there is an even more successful but also harmful source for electric energy. It is the use of
dry cell batteries. These devices are made for one time use and are thrown away after. In many
Africa villages these dry cell batteries are the only source of electric energy. They are used to power
radios and increasingly also LED lamps. Even cell phones get charges with the help of informal and
adventurous technical constructions. It exists even a kind of life cycle of such batteries: At first the
batteries are used for cellular phone charging and, after the power gets decreases, for application
with lower current consumption, such as lamps and radios.
Dry cell batteries are not a cheap source of electricity. The cost are at least 100$ per kilowatt hour of
Beside the cost there is a significant environmental problem: Thousands of used dry cell batteries are
ending up in the soil and consequently in the groundwater, poisoning the food chain.
Peter Adelemann and Catherina Adelmann: Micro Perspective for Decentralized Energy (MES) 2015, Bangalore, India.