Electrifying Africa: SolarKiosk brings Power and the IoT to Off-the-Grid Communities


A bright idea:
IoT and Solar Energy Power Up Remote Areas

Flipping on the lights, driving to the store, cranking up the furnace: we take our energy-powered conveniences for granted. Yet worldwide almost one in five people lack access to power for basic needs such as clean water, sanitation, and healthcare as well as lighting, heating, cooking, transportation, and telecommunications. In developing nations such as Africa, simply charging a mobile device can require a two-day walk to a nearby village, and basic services consume up to 40% of annual income. In these areas it’s cost prohibitive to build roads, lay cables, and develop the infrastructure necessary for traditional power grids. How can people in remote areas tap into a reliable energy source? The answer is in the sky – and in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Always On:
The Sun and Gemalto’s M2M Wireless Connectivity

Solarkiosk.PNGGemalto partnered with award-winning SOLARKIOSK to enable connectivity for an off-the-grid energy hub that provides sustainable electricity. The solar-powered energy production kiosks are compact, mobile, locally-sourced, and easy to deploy. They provide up to 1800 kWh of renewable energy every year – enough to charge 220 cell phones a day while running appliances every day. Several kiosks together can form a local power company. In addition to providing services such as internet connectivity and copy/print/scan services, SOLARKIOSKs provide a venue for people to gather, listen to music, and enjoy a cool drink, thus enhancing a community’s social framework. Gemalto’s Cinterion® wireless modules provide rugged wireless connectivity that serves as an electricity charging station for remote communities while enabling continuous monitoring and management of the kiosk’s rooftop PV cells. Cinterion IoT technology also helps track energy production and consumption, encrypt data and securely transmit data to authorized operators for billing and business management.

The Future is Bright for Off-the-Grid Communities

Gemalto's Cinterion wireless modules are designed for easy evolution to next generation technologies without equipment overhauls and expensive design revision, which is vital to resource constrained developing nations. This makes adding new services such as mobile WiFi hotspots and other 4G capabilities easy and cost effective. Regardless if it’s today’s or tomorrow’s version, the SOLARKIOSK provides much more than clean energy. Access to power means reliable wireless communications, which ultimately means access to the Internet, healthcare, government services, information, and education. SOLARKIOSK has the power to transform lives.​