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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X

J. energy South. Afr. vol.20 n.1 Cape Town  2009


The potential impact of small-scale flywheel energy storage technology on Uganda's energy sector



Richard OkouI; Adoniya Ben SebitosiI; Azeem KhanI; Pragasen PillayII

IDepartment of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town
IIDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Concordia University




The energy crisis in Uganda has caused a sharp decline in the growth of the industry sector from 10.8% to 4.5% between 2004/5 and 2005/6. This crisis has escalated the power disruptions, which have had adverse effects on various sectors. While business owners have resorted to importation of fossil fuel generators that have increased the cost of production, others have resorted to battery energy storage systems to cater for short outages, which are limited in life span, depth of discharge, among others. These interventions have, thus, further increased the cost of goods and services. In addition, the rural populations using solar home systems incur high battery maintenance and replacement costs. In this paper an electromechanical flywheel battery is proposed as a better alternative in mitigating energy storage problems. It is found that by replacing the battery storage systems with the electromechanical flywheel battery, a saving of up to 35% on cost of energy can be made in the solar home systems and for the industry sector, the power disruptions could be reduced.

Keywords: flywheel, energy storage, cost of energy, life cost analysis



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Received 5 March 2008
Revised 17 November 2008

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