Gencell Ltd Gives Power Alternative to African Communities at Off-Grid


Many people from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia rely on kerosene lamps and diesel generators as their source of power. These two are costly, not safe and also pollute the air. More than one billion people globally are not connected to an electric grid. Companies with alternative solutions have recently looked at off-grid groups as a potential market. Many companies, for instance, those that sell the do-it-yourself type of solar power kits for installation on homes’ rooftops have made inroads in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and India.

Gencell Ltd is an Israel based startup that has been in operations for seven years now. The company has scientists who are experts of the space program from the Soviet Union.  The company is coming up with different solutions which are based on fuel cell technology. The technology produces electricity which that is free from emission of harmful gases. The founders of the energy say that it can drive the future electric cars. For instance, Toyota has made a significant investment in future electric vehicles.

Gencell has sold out fuel cell systems to clients. At the beginning of this week, the company brought to the public a fuel cell product that has a novel feature. The company is looking forward to selling the system to government and commercial clients to global regions that are not connected to the grid. One advantage is that the technology does not run out of power like batteries. They only require to be feed by hydrogen fuel to continue giving energy. However, it is not easy to get hydrogen fuel more so in poor rural regions. But Gencell has worked on the challenge by designing a device that can produce hydrogen fuel from ammonia. Ammonia is seen as a more readily available raw material.

Director of content at Gencell Louis Gordon said that the move is the company’s way out. Gencell currently has a total of 80 employees who are working in Petah Tikva offices a suburb located in Tel Aviv. The company has decided to keep secret the amount of money it has raised so far. But IVC, a research company has listed three investors in Gencell. The three are Benny Landa, Jonathan Weinberg Pinto, and Samy Weinberg. Gordon added that Gencell is looking forward to selling A5 its new system to telecom operators in rural areas, small municipalities, and water purification facilities that depend on diesel generators. According to him the system is less competitive and gives merits in safety and emission.


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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on [email protected] and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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