Solar Tiles Now a Reality in Kenya

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The clamour for clean, renewable and affordable energy continues to heighten, leading to constant innovation in the energy sector.

In recent years, solar harvesting has spiked especially among residential consumers. The situation in Kenya has been accelerated by a government directive requiring developers to install solar panels in all their new developments.

Traditional solar harvesting has involved mounting one or two solar panels on the roof of a building. The roofing contractor must first complete his work before a solar power contractor is engaged to install the panel and the tank.

However, this might soon be a method of yester-years. In a game changing development, a local company has introduced solar tiles that serve the dual purpose of roofing and generating electricity. Strauss Energy has basically integrated energy generating technology into regular building materials. This means that a developer will not need to buy regular tiles if they choose the solar tiles which will not only serve the normal roofing purposes but also trap the much needed electrical energy to run the house.

According to the Chief Operating Officer at Strauss Energy Charity Wanjiku, the idea of solar tiles was conceived through a class project by the CEO, Engineer Tony Nyaga, who also happens to be her brother. “Nyaga conceived the idea as a project for his Masters class and then I helped him perfect the design of the tile”, Charity, an architect by profession, told a local daily.

“Traditional photovoltaic solar panels detract the aesthetic of a roof, something many homeowners dread”, add Charity. “Our tiles enable you to cut the cost of energy as well as maintain the beauty and appeal of your house.

The tiles are made of plastic and ceramic. They come in various sizes ranging from eight to 150 watts while the prices range from Ksh 2,000 to Ksh 25,000 a piece.

Although this would appear to be a steep amount, the homeowner easily recoups the cost in a few years due to massive savings in energy cost.

Initially, the company produced the tiles in Nairobi’s Baba Dogo area but opted for China when they noticed qualitative and quantitative compromises as well as high production costs.

2 thoughts on “Solar Tiles Now a Reality in Kenya”

  1. Hi Antony.
    This is very good.I am interested. How much would it cost to buy tiles enough to roof a 3bedroomed house?

  2. Wou….this is exactly what I need when I build my house.Can this run CCTV,fridge and incubator?

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