Providing easy access to electricity in some of the most underserved and underdeveloped markets in the world is an enormous challenge. The number of people living without reliable access to electricity is estimated to be approximately 2 billion people worldwide, and the estimated annual population growth of 1.3% outpaces the 1.2% rate of electrification.
It’s the kind of challenge that requires a new way of thinking and a highly adaptable solution.
One of Nexsun’s customers has stepped up to that challenge and is having an enormous impact on the quality of lives within these markets by offering comprehensive, low-cost metering solutions for rural micro-grids and existing urban grid utilities.
To begin with, there are certain well-understood risks to operating “off-grid” solutions. Managing load, mitigating theft, and managing operations are typical barriers facing rural utilities struggling to grow and serve their markets. One of the biggest bottlenecks has been the lack of inexpensive smart meters designed for emerging markets. Without this technology, energy providers struggle to efficiently bill, collect payments, monitor for theft, and manage demand. Furthermore, sending technicians to remote locations to manually service equipment and read meters is logistically impractical and even impossible at times.
Our customer has pioneered a low-cost smart metering solution that can be easily integrated with any utility or mini-grid system, giving electricity providers in emerging markets an unprecedented method to effectively manage supply and demand of energy and collect payments digitally from customers—at 10% of the cost compared to metering solutions within developed energy markets.
These products can be installed by anyone with basic electrician training and operates by chaining units via free-band 2.4 GHz RF mesh network with a 1km line-of-site range that allows for a multi-km radius on a single base station. Utility companies benefit from the ability to offer a flexible tariff system, and real-time load management and monitoring which can help identify and remedy problems instantaneously. Customers enjoy flexible mobile payment solutions and access to the energy which can transform their economic prospects and overall quality of life.
Beginning with early product development providing crystals and connectors, our relationship evolved to provide custom product development, engineering support, and handling inventory management and procurement for every product they make.
Our customer prototyped their product in Haiti and has since expanded to service microgrid operators and central grid utilities in nearly 25 countries.
Contact us if you would like to learn more.