Solarkiosk Connects Village

Power and Internet for off-grid colonies

“The Solarkiosk project supports community and own initiative instead of paying development aid. My customers come from afar. My kiosk became a real social meeting place and mini market of the village. I can’t describe how much this means for me.”

Ethiopian small-scale entrepreneur

Benefits for villagers

  • Supplying off-grid regions
  • Providing access to information and education

  • Providing infrastructure for small-scale entrepreneurs

  • Providing power – for light and medicine cooling for example
Initial situation

Off-grid households in Africa spend an average of $120 for power substitutes like candles, paraffin, kerosene, etc. – also to have light during the long nights close to the equator. This is often up to 40% of their yearly income.

Mobile phones are widely used in rural areas. But charging a battery often takes a 2-day journey to the next town and can cost up to half a dollar.

Objective

The idea is as brilliant as it is simple: Providing people without grid access, for example in Africa and Asia, with energy, convenience goods, tools and services. A single kiosk with its photovoltaic (PV) cells on the roof and a battery in the solar kiosk can supply the village with enough power that people are able to charge their mobile phone or cool their medicine.

Solution

Industrial routers – INSYS Smart Devices – and innovative connectivity and security services of INSYS icom are used:

  • One mobile router IMON-G100 per solar kiosk for monitoring the PV modules (power generation and consumption). The kiosk operator could even realise a small alarm system for sending an SMS if a detector has triggered using the I/Os of the device.
  • The VPN service “icom Connectivity Suite – VPN” for encrypted data communication. It minimises the installation at the site to “SIM card plug and play” via automated VPN configuration of the terminal devices, web-based client management and web-based certificate management.
Summary
  • Solarkiosk enables people to charge their mobile phone in their village, cool their medicine and save money with this.

  • The Solarkiosk service has always the latest PV operational data.

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