ARTI-TZ has moved to a New Office and Has New Faces!

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ARTI-TZ moved to a new office February 1st of this year.  The move will give us the space to better facilitate our projects.  The office is now home to our Lighting Rural Tanzania Project (LRTC) with the support of the Rural Energy Agency (REA) and our Waste to Wealth Project through the World Bank’s Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa (BEIA).  The new space also allows us to better promote our technologies with room for our charcoal kilns and a display area for our solar products.

In order to celebrate the opening of our new office ARTI-TZ welcomed children from the Mosque in our community.  We prepared food and enjoyed a small celebration as a way to give thanks for all the support we have received since our beginnings in 2007.

ARTI-TZ also welcomed new faces to its team in February.

Jacqueline Michael, who has a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam will join the team as Project Officer for the Lighting Rural Tanzania Project (LRTC).  Jacqueline will be assisted by Abdalla Seushi who will work as the LRTC Field Officer.

James Mariwa has joined the ARTI-TZ team full time as a Technician/Trainer.  Having assisted in previous trainings James is well versed in charcoal kiln fabrication and is quickly becoming skilled in the fabrication of compact biogas systems.

ARTI-TZ would like to the thank our customers and supporters for enabling us to make this next profound step towards bringing affordable and appropriate energy solutions to all Tanzanians.  We hope to have continued success with your support.

ARTI-TZ Starts Lighting Rural Tanzania Project

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ARTI –Tanzania officially signed the contract for the Lighting Rural Tanzania Project on November 22nd, 2010 with the Rural Energy Agency (REA) of the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy & Minerals (MEM).  The project utilizes funds from the World Banks Light Up Africa Initiative.

ARTI-TZ  pilot project aims to demonstrate that solar energy powered lighting can be accessed by the low income rural population using the existing trade channels and its “Mali Kauli” (Mali = Goods + Kauli = Word of Honour) credit system in Bagamoyo District of the Pwani region.

ART-TZ Executive Director, Nachiket Potnis receiving the LRTC award from REA and World Bank officials in Arusha, Tanzania

The rationale for the project is rather strait forward – Lighting is a basic need.  However, the up-front investment required to access any modern lighting devices is beyond the financial capacity of the average rural Tanzanian. The absence of reliable technical after sales service also deters the users from investing in the modern devices. This project is necessary to address both these factors which are obstructing the acceptance of modern renewable lighting devices in Tanzania.

Credit allows solar to be accessible to rural inhabitants with low incomes

ARTI-TZ will introduce Barefoot Power products in the market, including the PowaPack 5 watt system that includes a 5 watt solar panel, 4 LED lights, phone charging and radio adaptors.  The system chosen because it has won numerous international awards for its innovation and reliability.

5W panel, 5Ah battery, 4x 12 led lights, phone charging, radio adapter

The PowaPack 5 watt systems will be supplied to 7 existing district level wholesalers on a long term credit period and affordable weekly payment schedules. The wholesalers will supply the product to their existing network of village level retailers who in turn will make the product available to the end users. The transactions between the wholesalers and retailers to end users works on a soft/ informal credit systems – commonly known as “Mali Kauli”.

10 Form VI leavers from the district will be thoroughly trained and equipped to service the solar systems locally if and when required thus creating and/or supporting local jobs and capacity in the District.

10 Form VI graduates will receive solar training so that they can generate incomes locally

About the World Banks Light Up Africa Initiative

Light Up Africa seeks to offer modern, affordable, and reliable lighting services that can be sustainably provided over the long run to 50% of those 500 million people in Sub-Saharan

Africa without access to modern energy services by 2030.  Light Up Africa targets rural, urban, and peri-urban customers – consisting predominantly of poor households with low, non-wage incomes. Currently, this market is dominated by costly, inefficient and often hazardous fuel based products – such as kerosene lamps that represent a major expense for poor households. It is estimated that these products can account for up to 50% of all energy expenses and as 30% of total household income for the poorest of the poor.

CARE International DSM Office now has Biogas

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The 4000 litre digester/3000 litre gas holder CBS installed CARE International's kitchen at their head office in DSM

The installation of a 4000/3000 Compact Biogas System was completed at in Care International in Tanzania’s head office in November.   The CBS was installed at the staff kitchen and is hoped to be a viable alternative for the kitchen staff that had been using charcoal to cook lunch meals.

The aim of the installation is to eliminate the need for charcoal in the kitchen and save the kitchen the cost of purchasing bags of charcoal, which is costing them a minimum of 40,000 Tanzanian Shillings per month (30 USD).

CARE’s decision to install the CBS at their office also sets an important example to other institutions demonstrating that viable alternatives are available to reduce charcoal consumption, deal with urban organic waste and save money.

ARTI-TZ staff installed the system in October and after a month of training and troubleshooting handed over the system to the kitchen staff.  Training included teaching the staff about feeding, removing moisture from the main line, clearing up blockages in the feed pipe and proper use of the overflow effluent.

The team also supervised the cooking of lunch to determine how long the gas would last using a double burner cook stove.

After some initial trouble shooting the kitchen staff are getting accustomed to using the biogas and feeding and maintaining the system

After more than 2 hours the meals were cooked and the gas tank had only sunk half way.

While not all the staff were in the office the day it was tested we are keeping in communication with the kitchen staff to get some valuable feedback on the systems performance and to hear how much they have saved from not buying charcoal.

The final touch to the installation was to clean up the site around the CBS, removing garbage and sweeping leaves so that visitors can come and see the system for themselves, learn how it works and hopefully consider installing one in their home or institution.

Mbagala Group Invests in Briquetting

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Members of the Mbagala Development Association receive instruction from ARTI-TZ

Members of the Mbagala Development Association invested in a charcoal kiln, manual briquettes extruder and training in October/November of this year.  The groups 6 member governing body visited the ARTI-TZ office after hearing about the briquetting technology in the media.

Mbagala Development Association preparing the kiln for a char cycle

After several visits and some research on the subject the group decided to invest in the equipment and training.  In November, ARTI-TZ trainer, Kennedy Mremi delivered the kiln to their site in Mbagala and spent a full day training them on how to pyrolyze dry biomass and convert the char powder into briquettes.

Initially the group will use the briquettes in their own home until the become comfortable with their use.  Once theyare accustomed to the briquettes they will begin to market them in their community.  The group will do this through a sensitization program.

Trainees remove the drums once pyrolyzation is complete

ARTI-TZ will provide additional support in terms of training on packaging, branding, marketing, distribution and general business development.

Mbagala Development Associations first charcoal briquettes

Compact Biogas Podcast

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Nachiket Potnis inspecting a CBS installation in Mbagala, DSM

Paul Rippey from Energy Links visited the ARTI-TZ in October to conduct an interview with Nachiket W. Potnis, ARTI-TZ Executive Director. The discussion focused on our Compact Biogas System and our efforts to promote it as a viable energy alternative to urban and semi-urban consumers. For the full interview,

Institutional Compact Biogas Systems

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A student feeds the CBS at Azania Secondary School, DSM

Compact Biogas Systems offer considerable cost savings to institutions, such as secondary schools, office canteens, food processors, restaurants, and hotels that produce large quantities of food.  Using food waste as feed stock the CBS can replace or greatly reduce the large amounts of charcoal, firewood and/or LPG used in kitchens.

The flame from a large biogas burner

ARTI-Africa has installed several Compact Biogas Systems in secondary schools, safari lodges, orphan homes and offices in East Africa.  The systems, which are easy to maintain and feed offer energy dependence to the users.

5000 Litre CBS at a Islamic school kitchen

Institutional systems require approximately 30 days from installation to the handing over for use.  The complete installation schedule is detailed below:

CBS Installation Timeline
Stage Time Description
1.  Assessment Initial Visit 1)    Assess size of CBS required 2)    Assess number of burners needed 3)    Instruct institution on CBS location and dimensions of foundation (if required)
2.  Performa Invoice Within 3 days of site visit
  • Cost of CBS Installation
  • Cost of burners and potholders
  • Cost of foundation (if required)
  • Payment details
  • Proposed installation schedule
3.  Payment 7 days before installation
  • 100% of payment in advance
4.  Installation 7 days after payment 1)    Construct foundation (if required) 2)    Install CBS unit 3)    Build steps to foundation 4)    21 day Activation Period
5.  Commissioning 30 days after installation Final installation of gas hose and stove(s).
6.  Training Training of Biogas user(s) on feeding, maintenance and use.
7.  3 Service Visits* Next 3 months 3 Service Visits over the following 3 months to ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of the CBS installation.