Published on: Nov 10, 2020
Power Up the Power Hub
Set up in four to six hours with locally available building materials, expandable, robust, cost-effective and standardized. Frugal is not only the Power-Blox generation and storage technology, but also the so called Power-Hub where the Power-Blox are housed.
There is one thing our interns should not have: boredom. That's why a few weeks ago we asked Nico, a civil engineer, to look into a problem area of rural electrification that has considerable cost-saving potential, namely the accommodation of the power generation technology in a Power-Hub.
This may sound dry as dust to you, but it is not. Although the list of requirements is short (well, not really), it is a tough one. The task was to design a standardized power hub that could be set up within a few hours, without any specialist knowledge, using locally available materials, cost-effectively and weather-resistant. "So far so good," thought Nico. "Glad too soon," we thought, because that was not all. The power hub must be expandable, protect the Power-Blox from theft while providing good ventilation and be mobile when needed.
Now, a few weeks later, he presented us with the following concept:
Nico's design is, in the spirit of frugal innovation, quite practical and can be set up in four to six hours. Steel profiles or wood and a little cement for casting the point foundations are used as building materials. Overall the construction weighs about 525 kilograms. The PV modules are mounted on the roof at an angle, which supports self-cleaning. In addition, the rainwater can be collected in a rainwater harvesting barrel and used for irrigation. In the dark, the Power-Hub is illuminated with LEDs which increases safety. If the village community needs new generation capacity, the existing power hub can easily be supplemented with additional modules.
Since all theory is grey at first, we will soon realize Nico's design in one of our projects. We will keep you up to date.