Cuban Innovator Makes use of Daylight to Create a Mannequin Sustainable House

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Energy

Félix Morffi, an 84-year-old retiree, shows a self-made solar heater and solar panels installed on the roof of his house in the municipality of Regla in Havana. His hope is that his house will soon become an experimental site for the use of renewable energies and that students will learn about the subject in situ. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Félix Morffi, an 84-year-old retiree, reveals a self-made photo voltaic heater and photo voltaic panels put in on the roof of his home within the municipality of Regla in Havana. His hope is that his home will quickly turn into an experimental web site for using renewable energies and that college students will study concerning the topic in situ. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

HAVANA, Sep 23 2022 (IPS) – After making a mannequin for a photo voltaic heater, putting in photo voltaic panels and creating a tool to dehydrate meals with the assistance of the solar, Félix Morffi is popping his dwelling into an area for the manufacturing and promotion of renewable energies in Cuba.

With two tanks, glass, aluminum sheets, in addition to cinderblocks, sand and cement, the 84-year-old retiree created, in 2006, a photo voltaic heater that meets his family wants, which he proudly shows.

“We’re keen to advise anybody who desires to put in photo voltaic panels, heaters or dryers, every thing associated to renewable energies. We now have data and expertise and have one thing to contribute.” — Félix Morffi

“You construct it at this time and tomorrow you’ve scorching water; anybody can do it, and if they’ve a bit of recommendation, all the higher,” stated the retired mid-level machine and gear restore technician.

A magnet magnetically treats the water by way of a system that purifies it and makes it fit to be eaten, with out extra power prices.

Additionally on the roof of the home, a cluster of 16 photovoltaic panels imported in 2019 present 5 kilowatts of energy (kWp) and assist the work of his small automotive restore store the place he works on automobiles for state-owned firms and personal people.

That is an unbiased enterprise carried out by Morffi on a part of his land in Regla, one of many 15 municipalities that make up Havana.

Along with protecting his household’s family wants, he supplies his surplus electrical energy to the nationwide grid, the Nationwide Electrical Energy System (SEN).

As a part of a contract with the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba underneath the Ministry of Power and Mines, for the excess power “we obtain a median of greater than 2,000 pesos a month (about 83 {dollars} on the official charge), kind of the quantity we pay for our consumption throughout the identical interval,” Morffi informed IPS in an interview at his dwelling.

However he stated that the speed of 12.5 cents per kilowatt of power delivered to the SEN maybe needs to be elevated if the federal government desires extra folks to provide photo voltaic power.

Since 2014, Cuba has had a Coverage for the Growth of Renewable Power Sources and their Environment friendly Use, and in 2019, Decree Legislation 345 established rules to extend the share of renewables in electrical energy technology and steadily lower the proportion represented by fossil fuels.

Different rules have been added, such because the one which exempts international firms that perform sustainable electrical energy technology tasks from paying taxes on income for eight years.

Different selections search to encourage self-sufficiency via decentralized technology with the sale of surplus power to the SEN, in addition to tariff exemptions to import photovoltaic techniques, their elements and parts for non-commercial functions.

View of a solar dryer to dehydrate fruits, spices and tubers, made with recycled products by Cuban innovator Félix Morffi at his home in the municipality of Regla in Havana. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

View of a photo voltaic dryer to dehydrate fruits, spices and tubers, made with recycled merchandise by Cuban innovator Félix Morffi at his dwelling within the municipality of Regla in Havana. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Nice photo voltaic potential

In line with research, Cuba receives a median photo voltaic radiation of greater than 5 kilowatts per sq. meter per day, thought of to be a excessive degree. There may be monumental potential on this archipelago of greater than 110,800 sq. kilometers which has an annual common of 330 sunny days.

By the top of 2021, some 500 million {dollars} have been invested in increasing the share within the power mixture of photo voltaic, wind, biomass and hydroelectric sources, in accordance with information from the Ministry of Power and Mines.

The photo voltaic power program seems to be probably the most superior and with the very best alternatives for development.

The photo voltaic parks working within the nation contribute 238 megawatts, greater than 75 % of the renewable power produced domestically.

As well as, greater than 160,000 of the nation’s 3.9 million houses, principally in distant mountainous areas, obtain electrical energy from photo voltaic modules, statistics present.

However clear sources account for barely 5 % of the island’s electrical energy technology, an outlook that the authorities need to radically remodel, setting an bold objective of 37 % by 2030.

It’s a matter of nationwide safety to considerably modify the power combine in Cuba, which is extremely depending on fossil gas imports and hit by cyclical power shortages.

The island is within the grip of an power disaster with blackouts of as much as 12 hours or extra in some areas, because of the deterioration of the community of 20 thermoelectric technology blocks with a median working lifetime of 30 years and in want of frequent repairs.

Added to that is the rise within the worldwide costs of diesel and gas oil, in addition to the scarcity of elements to maintain the engines and mills powered by these fuels operational in Cuba’s 168 municipalities.

Solar energy is also used by Félix Morffi for aquaculture at his home in a Havana municipality: a photovoltaic panel feeds a solar hydraulic pump that maintains the flow of water in the pond for breeding varieties of ornamental fish and tilapia for family consumption. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Photo voltaic power can also be utilized by Félix Morffi for aquaculture at his dwelling in a Havana municipality: a photovoltaic panel feeds a photo voltaic hydraulic pump that maintains the circulation of water within the pond for breeding varieties of decorative fish and tilapia for household consumption. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Placing on the brakes

Authorities authorities level to the U.S. embargo as an element holding again the expansion of renewable energies, blaming it for discouraging potential traders and hindering the acquisition of contemporary parts and applied sciences.

Alternatively, inflation, the partial dollarization of the economic system and the acute scarcity of primary requirements, together with meals, depart most households with out many choices for turning to the autonomous manufacturing of fresh power, even when they acknowledge its constructive environmental influence.

One of many approved state-owned firms markets and assembles 1.0 kWp photo voltaic panel techniques for the equal of about 2,300 {dollars} in a rustic the place the typical month-to-month wage is estimated at 160 {dollars}, though it’s potential to use for a financial institution mortgage for his or her set up.

Individuals who spoke to IPS additionally talked about the difficulties in storing up photo voltaic power to be used at evening, throughout blackouts or on cloudy or wet days, contemplating the very excessive value of batteries.

Morffi stated extra coaching is required amongst personnel concerned in a number of processes, and he cited delays of greater than a yr between the signing of the contract with Unión Eléctrica and the start of fee for the power surpluses contributed to the SEN, in addition to “inconsistency with respect to the meeting” of the tools.

Though there’s a nationwide coverage on renewable power sources, “there’s nonetheless loads of ignorance and little or no need to do issues, and do them properly. Consciousness-raising is required,” he argued.

A prototype of an energy meter that records electricity generation and consumption at Félix Morffi's house, in the Havana municipality of Regla. In recent years, several regulations have sought to encourage Cuba's self-sufficiency in renewable energies, the sale of surpluses, as well as tariff exemptions to import photovoltaic systems, their parts and components for non-commercial purposes. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

A prototype of an power meter that information electrical energy technology and consumption at Félix Morffi’s home, within the Havana municipality of Regla. Lately, a number of rules have sought to encourage Cuba’s self-sufficiency in renewable energies, the sale of surpluses, in addition to tariff exemptions to import photovoltaic techniques, their elements and parts for non-commercial functions. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Combining renewable energies

Morffi believes that regardless of the financial situations, with a bit of ingenuity folks can reap the benefits of the pure parts, as a result of “the solar shines for everybody; the air is there and prices you nothing, however your wealth is in your mind.”

He reveals a dryer that makes use of the warmth of the solar to dehydrate fruits, spices and tubers, which he assembled principally with recycled merchandise resembling items of wooden, nylon, acrylic and aluminum sheets.

Different tools would require a major funding, such because the three small wind generators of 0.5 kWp every that he plans to import and a brand new batch of 4.0 kWp photovoltaic photo voltaic panels, for which he should apply for a financial institution mortgage.

Behind his home, a small photo voltaic panel retains the water flowing from a properly for his barnyard fowl and a synthetic pond holding quite a lot of decorative fish in addition to tilapia for the household to eat.

The development of a small biodigester, about 4 cubic meters in dimension, can also be at a sophisticated stage on his land, aimed toward utilizing methane fuel from the decomposition of animal manure, for cooking.

In line with Morffi, who manages these actions with the assist of a number of members of the family, his house is on its approach to changing into an experimental web site for using renewable energies.

A specialised classroom could also be constructed there, in order that college students can study concerning the topic in situ.

To date within the design section and in discussions with potential supporters, this native improvement challenge may even set up “photo voltaic heaters in locations locally such because the physician’s workplace, a day heart and a cafeteria for the aged,” stated Morffi.

He stated the thought ought to obtain assist from worldwide donors, the federal government of the municipality of Regla, and Cubasolar, a non-governmental affiliation devoted to the promotion of renewable sources and respect for the atmosphere, of which Morffi has been a member since 2004.

“We’re keen to advise anybody who desires to put in photo voltaic panels, heaters or dryers, every thing associated to renewable energies. We now have data and expertise and have one thing to contribute,” he stated.

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