RIWIK East Africa Ltd is a Kenyan based company that supplies innovative, reliable and affordable solar solutions to households, lodges, farms and institutions. They have built their business by putting their customers first, and focusing on addressing each customer’s unique energy needs. This is proven by their wide product range which includes solar PV systems, power backup systems, solar powered water pumps and solar heating systems. The company is a subsidiary of RIWIK BV in the Netherlands.
RIWIK is committed to delivering high quality hardware and service. Ms Lynn Vanheule, Sales and Marketing Director: “Based on our experience, there is a large need for quality and service in the Kenyan renewable energy sector. A 2009 study carried out by KEREA (Kenya Renewable Energy Association) showed that for more than half of the solar systems assessed, the systems were working insufficiently or not at all. The main reasons identified were that many suppliers offer cheap products of insufficient quality, do not provide service and maintenance and lack technical knowledge. As a result, these systems fail prematurely, oronly work half as well as they should.”
Therefore, it is RIWIK’s philosophy that high quality hardware and excellent customer service are crucial for long term success. They strive for affordability without compromising on the quality of their products and services.
RIWIK delivers solar PV systems for cost-effective electricity and solar water heaters for free water heating from the sun. They also offer solar powered water pumps to meet their customers’ water needs as well as providing power backup solutions and variety of energy efficient appliances such as DC refrigerators and LED flood lights. Their products are all-inclusive solutions, entailing everything needed to get a property powered: energy system, electronics, mounting structures, delivery and installation Services.
As part of their complete solutions approach, RIWIK offers a number of services including monitoring services, which allows users to track their system from anywhere in the world, and maintenance services to maximize the uptime of their systems. But their most important service is their detailed need analysis. Lynn Vanheule: “Whether you are off grid or on grid, identifying the best way forward to reduce your energy consumption and implement a money saving system is often challenging. To maximizeyour savings, RIWIK provides a range of analysis services to support your system setup.”
RIWIK is currently focusing on the Kenyan market. For large scale projects, they also deliver their solutions to Tanzania and Uganda. They also have partners in other African countriesin both East and West Africa, who offer similar solar solutions as they are. RIWIK collaborates with contractors for small-scale housing projects. The contractor is responsible for constructing the buildings;RIWIK comes in to install a Solar Power System, Solar Water Heater, Backup system or even a solar pool pump, all depending on the client requirements. RIWIK currently partners with contractors in the Mount Kenya and the Coastal region. They are always looking for more partnerships with contractors whose clients are in need of a quality yet affordable renewable energy system for their new house.
Lynn Vanheule: “A common misconception of clients is that the system size they need depend on the layout and size of their house. But in fact, the way your building looks like has no effect at all on the size of your system. It really is all about what you plan to do with the system: which appliances will you run for how many hours a day, how much hot water do you need, etc. “
Another crucial advice concerns battery lifetime. Lynn Vanheule: “Solar PV systems use batteries, and many of its users have difficulties realizing a battery lifetime of 2 years or more. With batteries generally being the most expensive part of such an installation, this is very unfavourable. One very simple measure to maximize battery lifetime is to make sure your batteries get a 100% charge at least once a week. In many cases, this measure alone is able to double battery lifetime.” To help clients realize long battery lifetime, RIWIK has published a comprehensive guide which can be downloaded from their website.
They also attended this year’s Renewable Energy Forum in Dar es Salaam (31 October- 1 November). The forum brought together 150 renewable energy industry stakeholders to discuss the deployment of renewable energy in the region and see presentations and case studies from both regional and international thought leaders.
Riwik East Africa Ltd
Sales and Marketing Director