ORGANIZATION FOR INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT (ORIRUDEV) is a Service Organization created in 1998 in the Republic of Cameroon. ORIRUDEV has long standing years of working experience in the domain of Rural infrastructures, Environmental Protection and Renewable Energy. ORIRUDEV contributes to improve rural livelihoods through making available, affordable, environmentally sound, basic electricity services from renewable energy (solar, hydro, wind).

Alternative Energy Issues in Cameroon

Anyangawei Fielding Ayuah | ORIRUDEV

This article is focusing mostly on ways to improve on the Energy efficiency of windmills, mini-hydro power plants and solar modules (solar panels).


After constructing my second wind generator and realized that its efficiency was less than 30% and after reading some articles with people complaining of the low efficiency of the wind mill, I decided to come up with some innovations which will improve the out put of the wind generator 24hours/day power generation. Knowing well that there are some many companies out there producing very good wind generators, I decided to bring the innovation on the turbine. How this is done is the question.
I decided to first work on the pole. At the tip where the generator was to be place, I decided to place a bearing, welder the outer ring to the pole, the inner ring that is being surrounded by the beads (nuts) welder to the generator by means of another rod which fits well into the ring and made movable up to 1800 horizontally. After this construction was done I realized that my wind generator improved its production to almost 65% which is not bad. The principle I used here was that, since wind direction fluctuates within the day, for me to capture atleast 90% of the wind blowing, the wind turbine should be able to follow the wind direction. It is rather unfortunate that I cannot provide you with pictures. I don’t have a Camera of my own
The next improvement to the wind mill generator which I think will atleast will improve the generation efficiency of the wind mill to 90%.

What I want to do is to construct a light rotor (turbine blades) in the form of a wheel so that the lightest wind propels it and this one will be placed at the top of the pole that is at the desired height then at some distance (d) depending on the measurement of my belt, I will install my wind generator with the same principle of bearing for free rotations of +/- 900 (that is can move 900  to the left or 900 to the right from its fixed position. This will also apply to the turbine wheel attached at the top of the pole. A fan belt now will be used to attach the wind driven wheel to the generator. The improvement here will be in two areas, firstly, since the wheel will be very flexible and large, it will be able to turn in the slightest breeze and secondly the ratio of the diameter of the wheel to the generator’s rotor will be about 50:1, implying that if the wind driven wheel turns once, the generator must have had 50revolutions, so you can imagine its efficiency. (I must say here that your output from your system will now depend on the generator) I must have solved the problem of the efficiency of your wind turbine.


If one can have access to a small stream, and has a good knowledge about building a small hydro-power plant for his cabin (house), just be rest assured that you will forget about paying electricity bills. In fact you can even generate power that excess could be sold to the National Grid. What you need to know first is whether the stream is sustainable all year round. That is if the stream does not run dry in very sunny season. The innovations I want to bring here is the addition of an air valve, a forbay and the use of sine wave inverters rather than using transformers.

Do you believe that just a bubble in your penstock can cause you great damages on your system or appliances? Air bubbles do have a negative role to play especially to the rotation speed of the turbine as it reduces the normal quantity of water falling on the turbine, so when constructing penstocks, it is advisable to put air valves along the penstock especially for mini-hydro power plants without a forbay. Forbay is a very important section in mini-hydro-power plant, in fact the forbay will ensure a constant water pressure that will fall on the turbine. Most mini-hydro power plants with fluctuating voltages (that is when one experiences bulbs dimming and over-shining at sometimes), it is as a result of the absence of forbays. Forbays are constructed after the dam. Construction depends on the individual power plants as calculations are done depending on the length of your penstock, so the capacity of your forbay will depend on your penstock.

Finally, very few people will neglect streams close to their houses for reasons that it cannot produce the required power to meet their energy needs. I tell you, today with the numerous innovations if your stream can produce you a stable voltage that can be rectified to give a stable 12VDC, then be rest assure that you energy problems have been solved. What you just need is to get a good sine wave inverter. Here you will realize that you don’t need a battery bank. Practically you will realize that cost-wise and efficiency-wise, your hydro-power plant will be far cheaper than the Solar system, wind system or even the National Grid power bill.

Currently, solar cells (Photovoltaic cells) have very low conversion efficiency; it shows that most of the sun’s energy (about 70%) is wasted by solar panels. One of the reasons which most people still doubt is its very tin size, atleast if the sun could be absorbed by the cells and this energy stays for close to 2hours after the sun must have gone down, at least the efficiency will improve by say 10%. Secondly, since electricity is being produce by means of electron movements, using other metals which could easily loose their out electrons and combining them with such semi-conductors such as Silicon will greatly improve on the energy efficient conversion. I wish I had access to laboratories to carryout some experiments with these metals to combine my ideas.
Other interesting areas which I will be working on will be creating a system where solar panels will generate electricity 24hrs/day using other heating sources. Watch out for that interesting innovation.
It will interest you to also know that all these knowledge or ideas put forth, Cameroon, cannot boost of one Wind mill generator installed, not up to 10 solar systems installed. Many Cameroonians doubt or are ignorant of the technologies. In fact there is still the heavy dependence on fuel wood, kerosene, candles diesel and petrol for cooking, lighting and powering of appliances.

It is rather unfortunate that I could not study at the undergraduate level what I really desire (engineering). My desire was to solve the energy crisis faced especially here in Cameroon and by so doing create a lot of job opportunities for youths. Well all hopes are not gone.

After completing my undergraduate study at the university in Zoology/Medical Lab Technology and could not gain employment, I decided to go into alternative energy technology since that was my field of interest ever since in secondary school for I had come to understand the benefits of energy to every society.

I must confess here that the system of education here in Cameroon is worth mentioning in that we are exposed to all subjects from primary school right up to the secondary school in both arts and sciences. It is only in the High School that we start specializing but still open to all the subjects under science or arts. That is why after completing High school a Cameroonian still have the opportunity to do whatever He/She likes and such inquisitive students triumph. The short coming here is that the practical aspects are lacking.

I have never sat down to take lessons about alternative energy sources or had technical support from anybody to improve on my research in this field. I only rely on my ideas and recently on the internet as I have achieved a lot of successes.

Anyangawei Fielding Ayuah
Energy Efficiency Promoter
(237) 76 30 66 88
North West Region
Republic of Cameroon

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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