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TUT Remarkable Smart Home Energy Project Awarded Funding 2024



TUT Remarkable Smart Home Energy Project Awarded Funding 2024

Smart Home Energy (SHE) at Tshwane University of Technology is a joint project with Makerere University (Uganda), Graz University of Technology (Austria), and Institute of Mines Telecom (France) that has received funding of 0.6 million euros (R12 million) from the University Carlos III de Madrid (Spain).

Several small medium enterprises (SMEs) are involved in the long-term Europe Africa Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE) group, including a South African and an Austrian (EKASI Energy and Carbon Compass) small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the goal of developing a commercially viable heating product that can be charged and lit, as well as generate multiple possibilities beyond heating.

The number of South African households without access to modern energy is estimated to be 3,5 million, and the number is estimated to be 0.8 billion globally, making this an interesting opportunity for innovation for societal impact.

TUT Remarkable Smart Home Energy Project Awarded Funding 2024

The Gibela Research Chair, Prof Khumbulani Mpofu, states that the University has a great opportunity to reduce climate change impacts in homes via traditional heating methods. Moreover, with the project, millions of South Africans who live off-grid will be able to charge their phones and study in light.

Aspects such as mass production and commercialization of this development are something Prof Mpofu is eager to see.

“This project will contribute to the access to clean energy in Africa, and we are grateful to DSI and SANEDI for their support,” said Prof Mpofu.

It will use a portable micro-gasifier stove, which is currently the best cooking device for reducing CO emissions based on compressed wood pellets. The basic wood pellet stove concept was developed by Ekasi Energy and TU Graz using a combination of experimentation and extensive CFD analysis. The SHE concept developed in this project addresses the main barriers that impede the wide implementation of this technology, namely electricity production limitations and fuel flexibility limitations. In order to achieve this, we combine for the first time:

  • It is recommended that biomass pellets made from agricultural residues and perennial energy crops be offered as affordable and readily available fuels and that they be burned in an efficient manner with extremely low emissions and a high level of efficiency that meets WHO cooking standards;
  • Powering small appliances and lamps grid-independently with a thermoelectric generator and solar panel;
  • An algorithm that relates the heat and electricity generated by the SHE unit with fuel and carbon dioxide savings using a smart low-tech approach to track carbon dioxide emissions.
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According to Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, big energy projects get the biggest grants. Moreover, this project will have a revolutionary impact on our students and society as a whole, and we are excited to be receiving this grant.”

Dr Kanakana-Katumba, the faculty’s Executive Dean, expressed excitement about the products that will be brought to market thanks to this groundbreaking research.

We are grateful for the funding and understand that the funding will be used for research, which is directly related to the sustainable development goal of clean energy. As an example of impactful research that the Faculty is committed to conducting, the research results will have a significant impact on the community,” commented Dr Katumba.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711   Email: [email protected]

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