Our solar energy innovation promotes a DC Micro-Grid Platform (DCMGP) for organisations seeking to provide modern energy services into energy-poor regions.
It is a partnership approach to modern energy access that actively engages end users and stakeholders to encourage efficiency as a natural way of modern energy life. The DCMGP provides high value (not high capacity), dependable services (not just electricity).
DCMGP is founded on a DC Solar Electric Generator with a proven 20+ year lifetime in remote locations.
The equipment situated in the user premises are innovative in their application but based on established technology.
Utilising proven hardware ensures a level of quality and value that meets the needs of end users and their environment. (Unlike the lowest cost, unreliable energy services that are the norm.)
Further development of the DCMGP is being carried out through a 12 month Energy Catalyst project.
A visit to Rwanda in June 2017 identified a local partner for the application of the DCMGP to milk chilling, a productive use case that will reduce operational costs, increase throughput and enable parallel economic activity.
Our current effort seeks to evaluate the commercial feasibility of deploying a highly efficient PV powered DC micro- grid platform (DCMGP) designed around a community’s energy services’ needs to accelerate affordable access to these services.
This is in contrast to the standard micro- and mini-grid formats that charge for units of electricity - a metric which most users do not understand, cannot relate to services and which does not encourage efficiency.
Our platform is based on over 20 years studying the enigma of why the regions with the greatest solar resource have so far been unable to sustainably address their energy challenges via solar energy technologies.
The book Selling Daylight (www.sellingdaylight.com) details a business strategy for deploying very high volumes of energy services into energy-poor regions of the world. The DCMGP will demonstrate the core elements of the book’s strategy.
The problem is multifold, yet can be addressed by adopting two simple principles.
• The system should deliver best value to the end user
• The user should be engaged in the use of their energy services.
The first is achieved through avoiding unnecessary conversion losses and supply of efficient DC devices.
The second through an information system not bounded by race, religion or language. This enables pre-sales value propositions and post-sale operation requirements to be conveyed to vast numbers of remote and diverse end users.
The DCMGP is innovative in 3 key ways.
Traditional PV systems use inverters to convert to and from AC when distributing electricity to consumers. The DCMGP will avoid the inefficiency, limited operational life and safety critical skilled resource associated with AC and these conversions. The quality of delivered services are equal to or superior to AC equivalents.
The user is the biggest single factor in enabling efficiency (eg leaving a fridge door open) and maximising value. The DCMGP addresses this with a user display and user energy hub to ensure they gain best value from the platform rather than being passive energy consumers.
A range of quality, energy efficient and ethically produced DC devices and appliances are supplied to users to drastically reduce electricity requirements (and therefore consumption cost).
Combining a proven, reliable PV system with high quality reliable DC devices we produce complete service solutions, not power supplies: we associate the DCMGP – and therefore the financing and supporting organisations – with communications, education, entertainment, light, e- commerce, safety, etc.
We remove ownership costs and external dependency: No fuel and reduced skilled maintenance are required for the design life of the solution developed. We give customers control of their own energy services: Users define their own value. This is embedded cost-optimisation.