14 May 2024
by Alex Brinded

Longer and second life for African batteries

University of Sheffield, UK, is helping to extend the duration of rentable batteries in sub-Saharan Africa.

© MobilePower

Sheffield-based Mobile Power provides pay-per-use, portable batteries that can be charged by solar energy to power fridges, lighting and e-mobility.

The batteries are rented as and when needed through a cloud-based platform, which the company says are cheaper than petrol generators.

University of Sheffield engineers have been working with the company since 2017 using skills and expertise in electrical engineering to help extend their battery cells.

There have been more than 14 million MOPO battery rentals to date in Nigeria, DRC, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad and Uganda - at a current rate of more than six million a year.

The knowledge transfer project is to develop longer-life MOPO Batteries which could have a second life, such as to power a fridge if it can no longer charge a vehicle.

'More than 740 million people don’t have access to electricity around the world and for many off-grid communities or those with unstable power networks, the only reliable power sources potentially available are petrol and diesel generators. These are often expensive, pricing many people out, but they are also dangerous and damaging to the environment,' says Professor Dan Gladwin at the University of Sheffield.


Alex Brinded

Staff Writer