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SA company wins at Global Leap Awards

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The local development of LED televisions using a little as 10-Watts of energy were among some of the winners of this year’s Global Leap Awards program.

An invention by a South African is among the winners named for the inaugural Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards competition, a Clean Energy Ministerial initiative to identify and promote the world’s best, most energy-efficient off-grid colour televisions and LED room lighting appliances.

The Sola 19″ LED television, winner in the Television, Medium Category, was conceived by Gary Bernhardt. Born in South Africa, he had seen from an early age the impact of lacking basic resources. In 2008, het assembled a multinational team to design a range of low voltage off-grid appliances. Product sales, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa to date, have been funded, implemented and managed in conjunction with organisations like Shack Dwellers International. Solar Home Appliances provides technical support and product service training, facilitating local job creation in areas like after sales service, customer support, and distributorship.

Solar Home Appliances’ design and manufacturing team has been designing consumer electronic products for the African market since 1970. Since 2010 the company has focused exclusively on the design and manufacture of reliable, energy efficient and cost effective DC appliances for a continent that has limited grid electricity.

The sola offers multiple signal reception modes and user-friendly operation. An intelligent interconnectivity adapter module makes its compatible with all power sources. With multiple signal input options, the monitor can be used with computers and other media devices – including smart phones – as well as analog or digital TV signals.

Quality assured, super-efficient low-voltage appliances build consumer trust and reduce costs for energy-poor populations throughout the developing world,” said the U.S. Department of Energy’s Caroline McGregor, the Global LEAP initiative lead. “They’re essential to creating and sustaining demand for technologies like off-grid solar. We congratulate the winners of the Global LEAP Awards, which are among the very best performing, most affordable off-grid appliances in the world.

Winners: Global LEAP Awards Outstanding Off-Grid Televisions Competition

Winners: Global LEAP Awards Outstanding Off-Grid LED Room Lighting Appliance Competition

All Global LEAP Awards finalists were laboratory tested to confirm their energy performance, durability, and reliability, and were also evaluated by a panel of off-grid market experts for their positive contributions to off-grid clean energy markets throughout the developing world. Winners were identified through a combination of expert evaluation and energy- and cost-based quantitative assessments.

Background: Globally, a total of 1.2 billion people live without adequate access to electricity, and another billion have less than four hours of reliable electricity each day. The vast majority of these off-grid communities are in developing Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and they are frequently among the world’s poorest.

Appliances and the services they provide are in high demand in off-grid communities. This demand frequently inspires off-grid consumers to purchase small clean energy systems, such as solar home systems. Clean energy systems can replace these households’ needs for pre-modern, polluting energy sources such as kerosene and charcoal, and provide significant health, environmental, and economic benefits while improving quality of life.

Energy-efficient, high-quality off-grid appliances offer improved service but need smaller energy systems to run, reducing the necessary investment in off-grid energy systems and making the most of the limited electricity available to off-grid households and businesses.

The global market for off-grid clean energy systems is growing rapidly, providing clean electricity solutions to un-electrified and under-electrified communities. Off-grid customers are typically very poor, but by reducing energy system costs, energy-efficient off-grid appliances like those identified by the Global LEAP Awards put modern energy services within economic reach for many off-grid households and businesses throughout the developing world.

The Global LEAP Awards provide off-grid clean energy companies and entrepreneurs with clear signals about appliance quality and performance and enable these companies to make better-informed appliance sourcing and procurement decisions.

By coupling their energy systems with quality-assured, super-efficient off-grid appliances, off-grid clean energy companies will be able to sell more systems, growing their businesses and improving the lives of their customers.

The Global LEAP Awards is an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership, and is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the ClimateWorks Foundation. www.GlobalLEAPawards.org

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