Modular Solar Home Systems for Rural Electrification

In the area of rural electrification, the shortcomings of currently existing technologies include for instance limitations to climb the energy ladder given that most existing Solar Home Systems (SHS) are limited to low power and limited functions such as lighting and phone charging. Moreover, paying methods such as PAYG entail high interests and the financing cost of the products end up duplicating or triplicating the original price of the SHS. This together with the volatile incomes of many farmers prevents a further diffusion of SHS in rural areas of developing countries.

In view of this, DC Opportunities wants to develop a modular USB-C based SHS. The universal USB-C connector and its power delivery specification offer compatibility, data transfer and power flows up to 100W per port. By taking a bottom-up approach users can acquire different parts of the SHS according to their income without engaging in periodical payments. The introduction of electricity will foster the local economy and the electrical infrastructure will grow to create a 350/700 V DC mini-grid where users obtain full-electrification and high-power appliances such as electrical cooking. For city-environments or slums, the bottom-up approach can be skipped and the mini-grid can be directly built including community-level PV generation and battery storage, the approach can be tailored to the application.

The educational background and experience of the members allows us to have a good sense of the needs as well as foresee where the energy transition is headed. DC Opportunities has gathered a team of enthusiastic members with one common goal: energy for all.