Open Energy Labs

Developing a smart solar energy platform for families and fleet operators

Partners: Open Energy Labs Ltd (Lead), Fam Studio Ltd

Country: Rwanda

Technology: Leave no one behind technologies and business models

Stage: Early

Stage: 9

A study carried out in Kenya found that Nearly one-fifth of solar products stopped working within 18 months despite a 25-year predicted lifespan, with the majority of these products, being kept unfixed in the home (Cross and Murray, 2018). Therefore, presenting issues with the maintenance and lifespan of current solar home systems. Individuals unconnected to the grid remain difficult to reach as they’re mainly rural, poor and marginalised.

In this project, Open Energy Labs (UK SME) and Fam Studios (UK Innovation agency), will develop a MVP smartphone application/hardware to support remote/rural users to control, monitor, maintain and expand the functionality of a Solar Home System (SHS). Whilst also developing a strategy to support HE/FE students to become fleet entrepreneurs that can maintain/repair any type/brand of SHS.

Thereby directly lowering the barrier to the uptake of renewable energy technology in Rwanda and sub-Saharan Africa; namely, lowering the skill level required for people to design, install, operate, manage, and maintain household systems.