Smart Solar Modular Container [SunBow] – Modular Plug&Play Solar Photovoltaic Containerized Solution with built-in intelligence and self-learning capabilities for an optimized implementation.

What is the product/service about?

SunBow is a modular,containerized and local manufactured PV solar solution with built-in intelligence and self-learning capabilities that is easy to transport, install,setup and use which has been identified as a potential solution to provide energy access and promote energy self-consumption in contexts with low electrification rate or with limited electricity quality of supply,such as Ghana.
Our project aims to implement frugal innovation by offering electricity at lower cost than the electricity from the main grid,from diesel generators or even traditional solar containerized solutions that are not optimized and adjusted to real needs.Reduced investment costs will be achieved by having an optimized and locally made solution;lower operation costs are expected by developing local capacity. Resulting in lower electricity costs, making energy access affordable.

Developed by:

Azimut 360 SCCL

Where did the project idea come from?

Azimut 360 has been in the Sub Saharan solar market for the last 10 years. During the implementation of the projects,Azimut 360 realised that, even performing a detailed site assessment, the final solution is often undersized/oversized. The creation of an advanced and modular solution to adjust the solar plant to the real needs,during the product lifetime, was identified as an opportunity.

Why did you select that specific target country?

On the one hand, the energy supply in Ghana is often unreliable or inexistent (almost 10% of the population in urban areas or 50% in rural areas do not have access to electricity) and the expansion of the electricity access is costly and foreseen in the Long-term Plans; decentralized solar systems such as SunBow are suitable solutions to overcome these barriers.
Moreover,the Ghanaian market is strategic given its location in West-Africa,its stability,average income and technical expertise and capacities.
It also has the harbour to facilitate the import/export of the special equipment and components.
Finally,the product’s potential goes beyond Ghana as the neighbouring countries have similar context and the solution will be easily exported from Ghana given its stability and good connections.

Who are your partners in the target country?

The Brew-Hammond Energy Centre (TBHEC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology {KNUST) from Ghana.

What is your long term vision for your company working in your chosen partner country?

Over the time the team expects to develop, sell and install several units in Ghana. The solutions that can be provided are of different sizes, which can be used in several contexts.Depending on the customer energy requirements, interconnected PV containers can be separated and relocated, allowing the owner to use the solar container for the whole 25 years expected lifecycle. After the implementing the first units, improvements through on-site experience will be incorporated to the newest versions and internal intelligent controller unit can be analysed allowing the company to understand even more the particular energy needs of the customers. It is expected that the impact will go beyond Ghana as the solution is suitable for the entire West-African context in general. Although the regional context is slightly different (with more off-grid areas),the modularity and compactness of the solution will ensure its suitability to other areas. The solution can be manufactured in Ghana and easily deployed to other countries in the region given the connections of Ghana with the neighbouring countries.

What impact do you believe INNOWWIDE will have on your company?

Above all, INNOWWIDE is allowing Azimut360, together with KNUST, to dedicate time and efforts in defining the RTDI and co-creation activities required for the implementation of the product: modular conception and improving the build-in intelligence controller.
The VAP supports the performance of the qualitative and quantitative market assessment that will enable to set the product requirements and define the required adjustments.
VAP is also supporting the team in the analysis of the certification and homologation procedures in order to achieve a competitivie, feasible and long-term sustainable product with large potential in the target country and abroad.
Finally, the VAP is helping Azimut360 and KNUST identify local partners able to recycle containers, ensemble the goods and a technical team in charge of installing and commissioning the system on-site.

Can you offer any advice or guidance to others looking to apply for INNOWWIDE grants?

The selection of the best strategic partner is the key for success! We would not be able to achieve what we are achieveing without our local partner’s support.

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