Pilot Test of Currentium Power Solutions in Sierra Leone

Time frame: starting 2021-08-16

From the daily feedback from a multitude of users both in Portee Wellington, Freetown in Sierra Leone and areas outside in the country at the edge of the grid and beyond the grid we have learned how the currentiums power solution is put to use and the benefits that have been experienced. Here we will try and summarise the feedback.

Who is involved in this pilot and why is it being done:
The Pilot tests are being conducted through collaboration with the NGO Vänföreningen Portee in Sierra Leone founded by Lotta Elf, Sweden. The NGO has local presence in several parts of the country.

Simon Tocclo, Energy Entrepreneur from Liberia and Sweden, and Samuel Johansson from Currentium have initiated the testing together with Lotta in order to bring an innovative solution to a population who are largely off the grid. Sustainable energy is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Currentium has a solution that can take us closer to achieving this goal and can have an impact on several other goals as well. 

About the location:
Sierra Leone has a rural electrification rate of just 5.3%, one of the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa. The country’s energy needs are hugely under-served and the lack of a reliable energy supply is a principal impediment to Sierra Leone’s development.

This is a wordcloud of the user feedback

Summary of Experiences

In Freetown, as well as anywhere else where power is non-existant or unreliable, having access to personal power solutions is the difference from productivity and freedom or just sitting in the dark. The usage the different Pilot users have found shows varying needs and here the flexibility has been invaluable.

The stand out usage is lighting in general, both individual, room and group lighting.

The second most important is phone, table and laptop. After that the usage varies widely with personal needs.

As far as charging the powerbank goes, it is clear to see that all methods are used. Solar when it is available, or on rainy days the powerbank can be recharged from a neighbour that has electricity or from a car or motorcycle. If the user has electricity only every second day or irregularly the powerbank acts like an uninterrupted power supply that makes power available even when the power is shut off, enabling continued lighting and communication 

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The Pilot Test Kit

This is the contents of the laptop bag that contains the starter energy kit that is being tested in this Pilot

20210915 A new motorbike charging adapter was sent to the pilot.

Feedback from motorbike charging coming soon. 

Images from the Pilot

Enabling preparation of uniforms after sunset.

Walking home in the dark without light is often avoided, something that is not an issue with a portable power kit.

Studying, uninterrupted power and lighting even when wall electricity is unreliable.

Feedback from Pilot testers

The pilot testers were encouraged to regularly fill in a  feedback page on their cell phones and send pictures of how they choose to use the power banks.

Here is a summary of the first two weeks

Initial feedback