Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Personal Electricity System Uses Solar Energy and Mobile Phone Technology

What if you could tap into a personal electricity system that uses solar energy and mobile phone technology, rather than grid-based power? Recently, a UK company called Eight19 announced a solution called IndiGo, which is a pay-as-you-go, personal electricity system for the developing world. Combining solar power and mobile phone technology subscribers can light their homes and charge mobile phones using scratchcards.

Using solar energy, Eight19 believes it can increase access to electricity for over 1 billion people who are not connected to the grid. The project will not only help improve the lives of Third World residents by bringing light and refrigeration to the villages, but it also helps minimize the negative impacts of living with kerosene – both via the fumes and expense.

Steve Andrews, CEO of Solar Aid, commented:

“We are excited to be working with Eight19 on this revolutionary technology. Solar energy offers huge economic, health and social benefits to the world’s poorest people; for lighting and mobile phone charging. Eight19’s technology opens up these benefits to many more people. This is a major breakthrough”, said Steve Andrews, CEO of Solar Aid, a charity supporting product trials in Kenya.

Its easy to switch to solar power with the IndiGo system. Components include a low-cost solar panel, a battery unit with inbuilt mobile phone charger and a high efficiency light emitting diode (LED) lamp. Users can put credit on their IndiGo device using a scratchcard, validated over SMS using a standard mobile phone.

Simon Bransfeild-Garth, the CEO of Eight19 comments:

“We are very encouraged by this new way of delivering energy to off-grid applications in emerging markets. Indigo enables a new generation of solar power products that are affordable, providing customers with access, often for the first time, to clean low cost energy that eliminates the health risks and carbon emissions of kerosene.”

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