PROJECT STATUS: Completed START: October 2011 COMPLETED March 2013
UMEME means electric in Swahili, which is a language spoken in Kenya. The objective of the UMEME 24/7 project was to develop and test solutions that will improve power supply and stability for consumers in Kenya.
Like many other developing countries, Kenya is plagued by both scheduled and unscheduled power outages during the day, which is a great nuisance to individuals, industry and the public sector – for example hospitals.
In the UMEME project the Alexandra Institute and its project partners, the two SMEs Amplex and EnergyNautics, developed solutions that aimed to reduce the number of unscheduled power outages and optimise the use of the electric grid. This was to be achieved by ensuring that power disconnections or consumption reductions take place only when they cause the least inconvenience and when the consumers understand and accept them.
In order to develop such solutions, it is essential to identify how users can be motivated for interacting with the electric grid and with other consumers. The Alexandra Institute therefore conducted a user survey in Kenya that served as a basis for developing concepts and payment schemes that constitute the framework for the implementation of the technical solutions provided by EnergyNautics and Amplex.
The project was funded by Eurostars, The Danish Council for Technology and Innovation and EU's 7th Framework Programme.
The Eurostars Programme is a European Joint Programme dedicated to R&D-intensive SMEs, and co-funded by the European Communities and 33 EUREKA member countries. Eurostars aims to stimulate SMEs to join international collaborative research and innovation projects. The programme also encourages universities, knowledge institutions and major companies to participate in these innovative transnational collaborations. A SME, however, always assumes the role as applicant.
Physical installations were done by both Energynautics and Amplex in December 2012 at a number of locations in Kenya, and these installations have since been running continuously, collecting valuable data for further analysis.
During two visits to Kenya, staff from all three partner companies conducted interviews with 10 end users (industry, retail and service sector), 3 knowledge institutions, 1 inter-governmental organisation, 3 generator companies, Kenya Power and Lake Turkana Wind project. The visits took place in December 2012 and in January 2013.
In two reports (one for each visit) the needs and barriers for different types of users have been described. These insights from the user study indicate that it still makes sense to continue work with the two different scenarios: ‘Island mode’ and ‘Reduced consumption mode’. The scenarios will not be publicly disclosed. The interviews provided inputs to the economical analysis, which was also performed by the Alexandra Institute.
In this project the Alexandra Institute collaborates with these organisations:
For further information, please contract Johanne Mose.
The project is funded by, among others:
Total budget distributed among project partners: DKK 5,800,000.00.
For further information, please contract Johanne Mose.
Technology and methods
The Alexandra Institute applied qualitative and quantitative user involvement methods.
Amplex and Energynautic developed and tested new technology during the project.
The lead SME partner Amplex specialises in energy management systems and intelligent monitoring of low-voltage power grids and consumption meters. Amplex solutions help municipalities and utility companies manage their distributed infrastructure assets so they can minimise waste, save energy, streamline operations, and improve response to demand. Originating in Denmark in 2001, Amplex has worked with cities all over the world to intelligently manage streetlights, smart meters, and low-voltage networks. The result: greener cities, higher-quality services, dramatically lower costs, and the agility needed to meet any future. In this project, Amplex will be the technical innovator developing a new solution for monitoring and controlling power consumption in distributed systems with end points of many different kinds. In the UMEME project Amplex used much of its existing technology for data collection and communication between units, but also added new technologies to dynamically manage peak power usage by controlling segment breakers, streetlights, business-owned power generators, and air conditioning units, based on the faster than real-time simulations that provide knowledge about the network condition.
EnergyNautics is a German-based international research and consulting firm, principally acting on consulting assignments involving renewable energy and Smart Grids, particularly projects related to wind and solar power, and the integration of those resources into both large power systems and island systems. EnergyNautics provides research and consulting services to transmission system operators (TSOs and ISOs), regulators, wind turbine manufacturers, renewable energy project developers, investors, etc., regarding Smart Grids as well as the integration of wind and solar power into electricity grids. EnergyNautics has worked for TSOs in Europe, North America and Asia on the development of grid codes for renewable energy generation, grid integration studies and on solutions for integrating high penetration levels of renewable resources, particularly wind and solar, into power systems.