text message activated solar powered cellphone charging stations in uganda text message activated solar powered cellphone charging stations in uganda
mar 15, 2013

text message activated solar powered cellphone charging stations in uganda

text message activated solar-powered cellphone charging station in ugandabuffalo entrepreneur, bududa village, ugandaimage courtesy buffalo grid

 

 

as the absence of proper power grid infrastructure becomes more of a problem in rural areas in the developing areas of the world – in particular africa and asia, where cellphone usage continues to grow at a steady rate – an estimated 650 million cellphone users rely on off-the-grid charging to provide information such as water point mapping, or other mobile services that help improve banking, health and farming. with typical charging costing around 500 ugandan shillings, or about 0.20 dollars – the ability to maintain a full battery for those making less than a dollar a day can sometimes be difficult, or at times impossible.

 

in response to the growing dilemma, london-based buffalo grid have developed a text message activated solar-powered cellphone charging station to help cut electricity costs. the technology utilizes a 60-watt photo-voltaic panel, which charges a battery that is then taken to the village on the back of a bicycle. the portable micro generator extracts power from the harvested solar energy using a technique called maximum power point tracking (MPPT) – providing on-demand mobile electricity. the system is activated when a customer sends a text message to the device. once the message is received, an LED above a socket on the battery lights up, indicating that it is ready to charge a phone.

 

on average, each text message allows a phone to be charged for 1.5 hours; where a fully charged ‘buffalo grid’ unit can last for three days, with up to 10 charging points and charge 30 to 50 phones per day. additionally, the system can also be used to provide off-grid power for a range of uses from medical to educational applications.

 

 

buffalo customers in bungokho village, uganda image courtesy buffalo grid

 

 

buffalo trial in ugandaimage courtesy buffalo grid

 

 

charging station in butsama, ugandaimage courtesy buffalo grid

 

 

zelia puts the unit through its pacesimage courtesy buffalo grid

 

 

the buffalo prototype is adjusted in tamale, ghanaimage courtesy buffalo grid

 

h/t newscientist

  • Maybe these folks can come up with some ideas for rural Maryland where there local monopoly telco and cable companies do not provide either decent wire, cell or internet services. (125 mi, as the crow flys, from Wash DC – the self-thought capitol of the World)

    Jim

    JimCan says:
  • Very good!

    Taburetmuebles says:

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