The Kumasi Technical University (KTU), formerly Kumasi Polytechnic, has designed a solar system to help small enterprises cut down on energy consumption.
The Photo Voltaic Stand Alone System was designed by the Centre for Research and Development for Technology Incubation in partnership with the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, both of the university.
It is targeted at micro and small businesses such as hairdressers, barbers and dress makers to help them take advantage of the unlimited availability of the sun throughout the year to generate power for their businesses.
The Director of the centre, Dr Felix Engmann, said the centre had been coming out with such technological interventions to help industries to improve upon their production and increase their revenues by reducing cost of production.
The centre is also credited with developing the fufu pounding machine.
The centre showcased the innovation yesterday at the passing out ceremony of about 160 seamstresses, hairdressers and tailors from the Asokore-Mampong and Ejisu municipalities who had undergone a three-week training in ‘Production Efficiencies, Technology Enhancement and Entrepreneurship Development’ at KTU.
The training was meant to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and help them to improve their production efficiencies. It was sponsored by the Rural Enterprises Programme.
According to Dr Engmann, the main motive of the centre was not to go into commercial production of its inventions but to come out with tailor-made technology interventions that would help businesses to grow. He, therefore, urged the private sector to buy into the centre’s innovations and commercialize them.
A barber based at Kentinkrono in the Kumasi Metropolis, Mr Kofi Appiah, testified to how the solar system had helped him in the past seven months.
According to him, when power supply from the national grid became irregular, he relied on the solar system to operate his business and with time, had stopped using power from the national grid.
He called on small businesses such as barbers and hairdressers to adopt the technology.
The lead researcher of the project, Mr Mamudu Hamidu, said if well-maintained, the system could last users a lifetime.
Mr Hamidu, who is a lecturer at the Electrical Engineering Department of the university, said it took the team four months to design the system.