Aptech Africa Installs Hybrid Solar PV System for Zembo Motorcycles in Uganda

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Uganda-based leading solar energy specialist Aptech Africa has commissioned a hybrid solar photovoltaic system for green mobility start-up Zembo Motorcycles SMC Ltd in Kampala. The 8.5 kW hybrid solar plant equipped with a battery storage system will be utilized by Zembo to recharge its electric motorbike batteries.


Zembo is continuing its journey towards decarbonization of the transportation sector in Uganda. As part of this target, the e-mobility start-up has obtained this hybrid solar PV system to recharge the batteries of its electric bikes. This hybrid solar PV installation along with its 9.6 kWh storage system will eventually reduce air pollution in this East African country.

According to Aptech, the hybrid system is integrated into the power grid with a Victron Quattro inverter. The inverter has two AC inputs and outputs, which facilitates the connection of additional power sources such as a generator. The design of the system allows for the addition of more two inverters and will be useful if a three-phase system is required.

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The hybrid facility is also equipped with a smart solar MPPT, which is a charge controller with maximum power point capabilities for battery voltage auto-detection to match the voltage of the solar panels in the cases of partial shading. The inverter and solar MPPT allow for remote monitoring through Victron Connect for battery SOC, PV-generated as well as grid-supplied power, and fault detection.

The solar-battery storage system will provide a reliable power supply and reduce the client’s electricity bills. This will enable Zembo to offer cheaper energy rates per kilometer, thanks to the low-cost lithium batteries. 

The hybrid system will boost Kampala’s e-mobility sector through the productive use of solar energy for charging e-motorcycle batteries. The system will be helpful in the reduction of CO2 emissions and eventually reduce pollution in Uganda. 

Zembo gas recently inaugurated four new battery exchange stations for its e-motorbikes along the Kampala-Masaka axis, out of which three run on hybrid solar energy. These exchange points were built through the financial support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO), a financing program supported by the IKEA Foundation and UK Aid.

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