Bringing solar energy to remote locations (May 13, 2019)
In this aritcle, we provide information about bringing solar-powered systems that can be easily deployed to disconnected communities with Renovagen.
How can we deploy solar energy more quickly and easily?
Renewable energy has the ability to revolutionise the way we live, paving the way for a more sustainable future. However, this technology isn’t accessible to everyone.
Currently, powering off-grid areas can prove difficult. But, where there’s a challenge, there’s a solution.
Here’s a closer look at bringing solar energy to remote locations.
What Stops People Using Solar Power?
There are a number of reasons behind the challenges. However, the main one is usually the difficulties in transportation.
Solar technology is heavy and complex, taking a long time to set up.
Logistically, this makes things very difficult. Getting the necessary components to the required area can be near-impossible.
Certain revisions need to be made with disconnected areas in mind.
Finding a Solution:
Solar power company Renovagen (http://www.renovagen.com/) have designed products that are much more portable, lightweight and easily set up.
How Does it Work?
The solution is a large shipping container, usually a trailer, that can easily transport the necessary parts. The material then rapidly rolls out like a carpet, able to cover large areas in around two minutes.
Plus, there’s no need for a specialist to set it up.
What are the Benefits of This System?
This system has a number of benefits, including easy transportation and a hassle-free set up. Combined, these make it much more accessible.
Where Can it Be Used?
The system can be used in areas that would have otherwise gone without solar energy.
Applications for this technology include:
• Disaster relief
• Outdoor events
How Much Power Does it Generate?
During field-testing, the system performed well. It can power a 120-bed mobile clinic, or even a large home. Therefore, significant pieces of infrastructure can reap the benefits.
The smaller, fold-out product can produce enough power for the headquarters of a response camp – for example.
So, despite being portable and lightweight, the system doesn’t compromise on function.
How is it Made?
The company uses a flexible, mouldable material in its solar panels, meaning they can be easily deployed or removed from a particular site.
The other bonus is that this material can capture sunlight more effectively than traditional glass panels. This is particularly important in areas with low light levels.
Where Did the Idea Come From?
The founder of Renovagen was inspired when travelling around Asia and South America.
The idea stemmed from examining his solar-powered phone charger. How could the technology be scaled up, while retaining the lightweight design and flexibility?
Renewable energy is potentially life-saving. Climate change is an issue that affects everyone, so the need to find solutions is huge.
How Did Innovate UK Help?
To explore the feasibility of this rapid roll-out technology, Innovate UK awarded Renovagen £60,000 in funding.
This is part of their Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which looks at ways to achieve clean growth through low-carbon technologies.
Want to find out more? Subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel for regular updates (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=innovate+UK).