Updated: Feb 9
On January 2019, 17 teams from all over Europe and Africa met in Sevilla to present several innovative solar solutions from advanced servicing models to technical improvements. Alongside its peers of Baobab+ and SolarWorX (also the first PaygOps partner of 2019, read more about the announcement), Solaris Offgrid won a prize for a “Solar Home System (SHS) agnostic improved battery pack” and qualifies for the final of the event in the USA later this year.
What issue is the “Solar Home System (SHS) agnostic improved battery pack” addressing? At every point of its value chain, the off-grid industry is driven by making solar energy more accessible to the over billion people in need. “Pay-as-you-go” as a payment collection method and as a business model seriously contributed in making solar technologies more accessible by splitting the ultimate user price over time (read more about it on a by-line published on Sun-Connnect-News). With a similar ambition, this project attempts to make a SHS more affordable by focusing on its storage management improvement, as a battery pack usually represents from one-third to more than two-third of a SHS product cost (COGS), depending of its power capacity and battery type (based on Solaris Offgrid internal studies).
By enabling a system that manages several unbalanced battery packs together, this innovation can increase their lifetime, facilitate an upgrade or swapping operation of the storage component and thus significantly reduces the amount of e-waste. "We believe such technology development could impact the whole off-grid industry, helping SHS manufacturers and distributors gain efficiency and save on costs" says Claudio Shawawreh, Electrical Engineer at Solaris Offgrid.
This innovation also aims at being hybrid (managing both Lead-Acid and Lithium packs at once), tamper-proof and SHS agnostic. Remi Bouzel, Project Manager at Solaris Offgrid, to insist on the agnostic philosophy behind the project "we are bringing more value to end-users through our innovative approach of battery management and interoperability of this technology with, potentially, every SHS manufacturer." It is to say, from a design standpoint, this Solaris Offgrid improved battery pack innovation ambitions to be shared with leading manufacturers of the sector (such as via licencing mechanisms) to contribute into their development and foster their impact worldwide.
The current prize attributed to this innovative project qualifies Solaris Offgrid to the final round of the competition to be held in Baltimore USA on September 2019, to potentially win a second grant of $1,000,000 to be shared with co-winners of the second round to come.
To be continued.
About Solaris Offgrid:
Solaris Offgrid supports distributors of essential services to build strong customer traction and greater relations with investors through flexible and inclusive Paygo solutions, designed for last-mile operations. Adopting a bottom up approach in the design of its solutions and creating synergies with a strong network of partners to solve last-mile challenges, the company has already deployed Paygo solutions in more than 30 countries through PaygOps, Solaris Offgrid in-house software solution built “In the Field, for the Field” and its product development services. For more information on Solaris Offgrid, please contact email@example.com.