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Inveneo Solar Power Deployment Guide to Building Truly Practical PV Systems for ICT Projects

By Wayan Vota on July 18, 2011

Many people believe that solar power is too expensive to use for powering computer installations in remote or rural areas that are without a connection to the AC grid. However, there have been two recent developments that have significantly lowered the cost of solar.

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  1. The power consumption requirement of low-cost computers and peripherals has come down considerably.
  2. The cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically, with some panels selling in the US for as much at 70% less than typical 2008 prices.

If you are thinking about deploying computers in remote rural locations or in countries with erratic grid power, the cost of reliable, long-term, low-maintenance power has never been lower.

Inveneo Solar Power Deployment Guide

The Inveneo Solar Power Deployment Guide will show you how to specify, design and build your own small-scale self-contained solar power system. The guide’s purpose is not to make you a world-class expert on solar technology. Rather, we will take a “hands-on” approach, emphasizing a step-by-step method to designing and building truly practical solar systems.

As there are a large number of “tricks of the trade” involved when installing a solar system, we do not usually recommend a do-it-yourself approach for beginners. It is better to work with an experienced solar installer, especially if you have never worked with solar or other power systems before.

After reading this guide, you should be able to estimate the size, level of complexity and cost of small to medium- sized PC installations, and you will understand the basic theory and practice. This guide is focused on completely battery-operated PC and network installations. It does not discuss battery backup systems for generator- or AC- grid-powered locations.

More Information

If you would like to read a high-level summary on the viability and usefulness of solar power systems, you can refer to the Intel Corporation paper, “Solar Power for PC Deployments: Enabling ICT Beyond the Grid“. We have also developed a list of Solar Power Resources for Designing PV Systems in Rural Computer Projects

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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