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Azuri Launches Smart Solar Home System for Rural Africa

published: 2016-04-15 17:45

Azuri has announced HomeSmart™, a self-learning capability for its solar home systems. While conventional solar home systems work well in sunny conditions, they often shut off early on cloudy days because they run out of power. HomeSmart monitors both climatic conditions and historical customer usage patterns to ensure a full night of light, even following cloudy days. This is believed to be the first time that such machine-learning approaches have been used in small domestic solar home systems and marks the next step in intelligent automation.

For grid-connected customers, solar power is a way of saving money. For off-grid customers, it is often the only access households have to electrical power for lighting, phone charging, radio, TV and other essential devices. Without the grid as backup, customers rely solely on the stored power to provide services at night and if that power is insufficient, households are often forced back to solutions such as candles and kerosene lamps.

HomeSmart™ solves this problem in two ways: Firstly, the system actively monitors customer usage to determine a typical expected performance. Then, by accurately monitoring the climatic conditions, the system automatically adjusts the light brightness to meet the user’s expected lighting duration. This active optimisation of light brightness, battery charging and load conditions ensures the system delivers the best possible match to the customer’s typical daily requirement with the available power.

Research undertaken by Azuri has revealed a wide variety of customer usage patterns. For example, some customers use the product only in the evening, whereas others use it during the day and in the early morning. By adjusting the power profile of the Solar Home System based on historical customer usage patterns, HomeSmart delivers a solution that is automatically tailored to each individual customer’s needs. Just as Azuri’s PayGo removes financial and product risk from the consumer, HomeSmart helps take away any operational concerns. The customer no longer has to second-guess how much sunlight there has been or how much the lights have been running as their system itself can be relied up to deliver the optimal performance.

With this example of “Reverse Innovation”, where leading technology is first available in rural off-grid households, Azuri aims to deliver a simplified, highly accessible service that delivers tailored benefits and peace of mind for each customer. It reflects the company’s commitment to enabling rural African consumers to benefit from top quality products whose performance and efficiency exceeds that found in most typical homes and businesses in developed markets.

Azuri’s CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said: “There is continued growth in off-grid markets for ‘smart’ products that are simple, affordable and reliable. HomeSmart™ is the latest step in Azuri’s ‘Designed for Life’ family of best-in-class solutions specifically aimed at today’s rural consumer.”

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