This article has been -partly- extracted from the Global LEAP Awards' Medium page (read full article here)
In 2020, Solaris Offgrid was chosen as one of the winners of round two at the Global LEAP Solar Awards. Today, our Product Development Services team keeps thriving in the development of a smart battery pack set to revolutionise the energy access industry, by decreasing the cost of energy storage for the end-user, while also reducing the amount of e-waste generated by any industry that makes use of standard lithium batteries.
The modular technology, currently being tested in end-user scenarios in Tanzania and Benin, is made up of a tamper-proof external battery that can be easily attached to a solar home system (SHS), or removed and recycled, without discarding the entire system. The battery prototype aims to retrieve used battery cells that come from the automotive industry and can be disassembled, cleaned and recycled in an easy, safe and standardised way, which will eventually enable solar product manufacturers and distributors to configure the batteries according to their needs and those of their end-users.
“With our technology, we hope that manufacturers and distributors adopt a more durable, affordable and environmentally friendly technology. Our final goal is to have a lot less e-waste generated and be part of the extension of access to essential services in developing countries”, explains Benjamin David, CTO and co-founder of Solaris Offgrid.
Through the usage of old cells recovered from discarded battery-powered products, Solaris Offgrid’s engineers are creating second-life battery packs that can be smoothly integrated with several solar products. When the battery capacity diminishes across its lifespan and no longer functions as intended, an external battery can replace the old one, thereby extending the battery capacity of the device and preventing customers from discarding entirely the SHS and having to buy a new one.
Building upon our vast experience in the development of products oriented to energy access and the industry’s adoption of our in-house technologies, we can now help manufacturers and LMDs extend the life of the SHS, make battery replacement easy and standardised, reduce waste and avoid the consumer expense of purchasing a new system. Towards the end of the challenge (March 2022), we hope to start deploying the technology alongside interested manufacturers, who can then boost their offering and deliver more durable, affordable and sustainable Paygo products to last-mile customers.
Solaris Offgrid's Product Development Services Team
Implemented through the Efficiency for Access coalition and managed by CLASP, the Global LEAP Awards is a competition that promotes the world's most energy-efficient devices and equipment intended for use in energy-constrained settings. It has evolved into a trusted global brand that serves as the de facto source of accurate, actionable information about the quality and energy performance of appliances designed for use with off-grid solar energy systems, mini-grid and areas with inconsistent grid connections.
We invite manufacturers in the off-grid solar industry to engage with us if interested in this technology to manage their e-waste in a more sustainable way.
Head to the Global LEAP Awards’ Medium page to read the full Spotlight Article that they dedicated to this project.
About Solaris Offgrid
Solaris Offgrid supports distributors and manufacturers across all industries in over 35 countries through Product Development Services and flexible IT solutions. Solaris Offgrid’s flagship PaygOps platform is an interoperable B2B SaaS which connects energy and utility appliances (solar devices, water-pumps, cookstoves, smart meters, e-bikes) and payment methods (Pay-as-you-go and Mobile Money) within a suite of enterprise applications or API services, to allow distributors to smoothly manage their operations and tackle their challenges at the last mile, thus enabling them to provide affordable essential products and services to millions of people at the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid.