During the finals of the Challenge Cup held on Saturday Night at the US Institute of Peace, Hand Up was awarded the Challenge Cup.
Hand Up is a web initiative to put donors and needy street people in direct contact with each other.
The Institute (USIP) chose also to make an award of themselves. This was the Peace Tech prize in recognition of the work that Khaya Power is doing to bring clean reliable electricity to impoverished neighbourhoods.
This Khaya. power regards as a great honour and responsibility to continue finding ways to empower people to generate solar energy and to distribute it in their neighbourhoods.
The question of getting a light that would be low on energy usage, provide sufficient light and yet be durable and inexpensive was always a challenge for Billy Hadlow, founder of Khaya Power.
“In the past we have used 1,5 Watt downlighter globes. They are going down in price and are LED, but we found that they did not light a full room and they were manufactured from glass. What we were looking for was more like a flourescent tube in shaped but driven by LED technology.”
“Our breakthrough came when we found a small pipe extrusion plant in Somerset West, who was willing to use recycled food packaging with a small quantity of opal coloring. This provided us with a very low cost tube that could be used with a normal low powered LED strip. This comes in at a fraction of the cost of the imported LED Fluorescent tube replacements. We are talking of a 1/10 of the price”.
Khaya Power has tested the lights and we are getting over 100 lumens of light in 350 mm tube mounted overhead, with no heat shadow issues. One recharge of a standard Juz Box will provide close to 30 hours of lighting for one tube.
The lights are now starting to be produced in volume and will be extensively field tested during the Pilot Program over the next 2 months.
Each Starter Pack that is issued to a new customer will include one of these lights but they will be separately available for price of R50 each.
“One more piece of the puzzle has now fallen into place” added Billy. “We feel confident that the package we are offering is getting better each day”.
Khaya Power last week completed operational testing of their “new” Franchise Point of Sale system. This testing was down with the developers Globetom from Centurion in Gauteng.
Khaya Power’s Power Pack recharge program is managed by GP3, a cloud based asset and voucher management system. It has been adapted from an already successful Mobile Phone Voucher distribution system that operates in a number of countries in Africa and manages distribution of Vouchers for all the major networks.
The testing involved setting up the first franchise on the system, commissioning a Wireless POS terminal and allocating a fleet of Juz Box Power Packs to the franchise.
Khaya Power has been running a “limited” manual pilot since December and look forward to now adding our existing customers to the database as well as adding new customers to the system.
Each customer is fully tracked in the system and all Power Packs out on rental are tracked and tagged.
The staff found the system to be easy to use and are happy that the manual tracking forms are something of the past.
Pictured are the trainees in the newly kitted out container in Plankenbrug, right next to Ekaneni, where 2,000 people live in shacks that are not serviced by electricity.