In the wake of unpredictable surge in electricity prices, Mombasa-based power protection and control firm Sollatek Electronics is offering consumers alternative and affordable energy solutions that aim to reduce that burden.
The firm's intelligent power optimization (iVolt) and AVR (automatic voltage regulators), the two innovative machines that save energy, reduce maintenance costs and shield electrical & Electronics equipment from damages.
Imran Khan, the Sollatek technical manager, said that frequent power losses arising from a weak distribution network is to blame for the turmoil in the power market. This results in transmission of low voltage that is not typically matched to the optimal levels of most electric equipment, causing serious and long-term damage to appliances.
In Nairobi, for instance, a year of monitoring the voltage found that it is mostly high and fluctuating at 245V to 255V instead of standard of 220V required for most appliances and electronics equipment that are designed to operate at maximum efficiency.
Sollatek's iVolt regulates incoming voltage to optimal levels by reducing mains voltage to save energy. This also reduces maintenance costs and maximises equipment efficiency by providing clean and filtered accurate voltages.
“Optimization with electrical equipment such as refrigeration or air cooling devices, three-phase motors, high-intensity discharge or fluorescent lighting considerably reduces energy consumption and creates real financial savings,” Mr Khan said, adding that, “voltage optimization also increases the service life of electrical equipment.”
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) recently issued a new tariff plan that will see homes that consume 50 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per month pay 54 per cent more at Sh1,067 in August, up from Sh695 in July.
Consumers of 200 units of power per month will pay Sh4,268 a month, up from Sh4,121 in July, a price surge that will force electricity consumers to dig deeper into their pockets.
Sollatek's AVR technology range provides an ideal all-inclusive solution to protect domestic, commercial and industrial installations from damaging property, causing human injury and fatalities under erratic of power conditions.
Industry is increasingly investing in power solutions to prevent downtime in production and reduce operating costs.
More recently, the government’s push to support manufacturing demands that these businesses do not lose revenue to unreliable power – AVR protection is critical to their proper functioning.
“AVR range is designed to provide high level protection required for telecommunication applications and for equipment that requires a high level of surge, spike and noise protection,” Mr Khan said.
Voltage optimization products are available in four different technologies namely fixed type reduction, variable optimization products that use motorized based stabilization, variable optimization products that use relay-based stabilization and iVolt’s intelligent power optimization solution that is measurable, maintenance free fit-and-forget technology.
Mr Khan said intelligent power optimization, unlike fixed reduction units, provides maximum energy savings of up to 30 per cent without the risk of under-voltage.
The solution also enhances power quality by smoothing out all variations in supply and further enhancing three phase installations by balancing all three phases.
“Every energy manager’s main concern is the amount of savings that can be made as well as the return on investment. The technologies we have delivers on this concern by measuring the savings in real time,” he said.
The iVolt uses its in-built algorithm to gently remove optimization and re-instate it at preset times in a pre-defined cycle, said Mr Khan.
“Microprocessor technology also adds unique functionality that allows the user to measure energy savings in real time without resorting to theoretical assumptions, calculations.”
Voltage reduction or optimization was initially developed by the Japanese in 1993. The evolution in the UK and Europe also started about a decade ago with fixed reduction transformers. However, since 2011, the innovation has spread to Kenya and Africa whereby the voltage optimization has become a key solution in energy saving and carbon foot print reduction.
Sollatek Technologies Kenya was founded in 1985 as sole product agent of Sollatek UK. Locally headquartered in Mombasa, the company has branches in Nairobi, Kisumu and Meru and regionally in Arusha, Kampala and Dar es Salaam.