ManaFuel Tonga seeks to improve the lives of farmers by converting their surplus crops into renewable energy and value-added goods. It plans to pilot a small-scale energy project in Tonga combining photovoltaic and biomass gasification technology. EWBNZ have conceived a fourth year engineering research project at the Auckland University of Technology to assess similar hybrid power projects around the world and determine an appropriate design for the planned pilot study. Through providing renewable energy access to farmers, ManaFuel seeks to improve their potential for sustained increased income and social improvement.
Academic institute: Auckland University of Technology
Partner organisation: ManaFuel Tonga
Expected completion: November 2014
ManaFuel Tonga is a social enterprise that seeks to improve the lives of poor farmers in small island states
by converting their surplus crops into renewable energy and value-added goods. It plans to pilot a small-scale renewable energy project in Tonga, combining photovoltaic and biomass gasification technology to create hybrid microgrid power units that are designed to provide 24/7 energy access to remote villages in the outer islands. The biomass will be supplied by its partner the Tongan National Youth Congress (TNYC) which operates several village-based virgin coconut oil plants.
ManaFuel has a need to assess similar hybrid projects around the world to determine an appropriate design for the planned six-month pilot in Tonga. It also has a need to survey and assess the energy load profile of several potential sites where the hybrid units may be installed after the pilot period has successfully ended. EWBNZ has partnered with ManaFuel and conceived a fourth year engineering research project at the Auckland University of Technology to investigate these needs. Through this research, EWBNZ and ManaFuel hope to provide renewable energy access and an increased sustainable income to farmers.