When we talk about the future or technology, we inevitably talk about renewables. We cannot, however, talk about technology or the future and not talk about the battery.
Packing sunshine to use another day
Granted, not all renewables come from the sun, but all renewables need to be packed away and stored for on-demand-use. It’s not long before data centres, buildings, and entire cities turn the current centralised power distributors into the redundancies and renewables become the primary energy source. Unlike the previous generation of electric car, killed in the ‘90s, this renewables drive is the one leaving all who oppose it in the dust.
Companies around the world such as Forbatt SA and Tesla are working relentlessly to package the energy from renewables, whatever the source. Whoever gets the ‘golden goose’ of stability, safety, energy density and cost right, will lead the way. Right now, in the lead is the lead-acid battery when we look at a solution for the African market. The drive is in full swing, and one of the companies hurtling straight down the fairway is Forbatt SA.
Ready for the Western Cape
The drive for sustainable African energy and power backup solutions has led Forbatt SA, the agent for the professional series of Forbatt lead-acid batteries, to the Western Province where it has established a new hub to support the local distributors.
According to Mark Dove, a director at Forbatt, the reason for the expansion to Cape Town is that “with the demand for alternate power on the rise and the predicted strain on the national power grid, it’s imperative that Forbatt SA has a presence in Cape Town and surrounding areas. The warehousing facility in Kuilsriver will hold stock, so local distributors don’t have to wait for shipments to come from Johannesburg. This distribution point will make it easy for our partners to get what they need quickly and conveniently.”
The facility, headed by Dr Russell Ruiters, is ideally situated to not only act as a hub, but also distribute a range of complementary products and accessories for the surveillance industry.
Preparing for Africa
When asked why Forbatt lead-acid batteries for the African market, as opposed to other chemistries and brands, Dove stated: “Forbatt has been in South Africa for over 20 years now and over 25 years internationally, so our longevity and staying power speaks for itself. In our expansion drive, our competitive advantage is that our product prices are fair, and Forbatt batteries are manufactured to the highest standards which are reflected in their durability, performance and low rate to the almost non-existent rate of returns. We have also partnered with an excellent customer service team for a great all-around sales experience.”
When asked about his predictions for the continent, Dove asserted that “solar applications will become the way forward across the continent. We are already actively involved in the drive through our distribution channels with links into Africa.”
As for energy solutions for Africa, Dr Ruiters believes durability and reliability are key considerations. “I would rate Forbatt batteries among the most reliable and stable SLA (sealed lead-acid) batteries, one of the top performing batteries in the South African market and the definite winner for Africa,” he said.
Preparing new builds for new markets
Forbatt SA is not waiting around for others to solve Africa’s problems. It has actively provided energy and power backup solutions for several sectors including the security, IT, automotive, energy, medical, communications, construction and financial services industries, and is rapidly expanding into the solar, medical and water management industries. It has introduced the FB26-12 and FB65-12 batteries, which focus on solar, UPS and telecom applications, while the new FB18-12G concentrates mainly on UPS and access applications.
When asked about his predictions for battery technology and renewables for the African markets and how Forbatt is gearing up, Dove stated his belief that gel type technologies are set to take centre stage for massive storage and power backup technologies. “Forbatt is geared to take on and meet the demands of the African market by ensuring we maintain our very high levels of quality control and introduce ever improving gel type technologies,” he concluded.