Built: Summer 2009
Solar Panels: 9
Max Power Output: 570W
Built By: Minazi District
Objectives: Rural electrification by solar. Test bed for standalone solution in 2012.
Partners: Imperial College London, BTC, Min. Infra of Rwanda
The first e.quinox solar Energy Kiosk was implemented in the Minazi sector of Rwanda in 2009 by the organisation’s founding members. Overlooking the beautiful mountains of Rwanda, the Energy Kiosk is supplying electricity to 100 households in a remote region that will not receive a grid connection for many years to come. The kiosk has 9 panels, with a peak power of 570W. Initially the kiosk operated purely on a pay-per-recharge system. With the introduction of a new generation of battery boxes in 2010 a separate business model based on a monthly charge was implemented in conjunction with the old system. The kiosks battery box charging output was changed from DC to the more standard AC system, which, among other things, allows the kiosk to offer mobile phone charging. As the climate of Minazi is relatively wet, storage batteries were added for more technical charging stability.
To further benefit the community, the roof of the building is used to collect free water for villagers. The summer of 2012 will see the kiosk updated with our latest data logger solution so as to be able to remotely gather data about the kiosks health from our base at Imperial College London. The Minazi site will also act as a test bed for our new stand alone energy solution which aims to eliminate the large over head costs of the kiosk model and deliver solar powered energy straight to local people’s homes. The scheme will be tested with a select number of residencies this September and will see users paying for the system using mobile banking technology.