OffGridBox

OffGridBox is using solar power to generate safe drinking water and electricity for remote communities.

OffGridBox produces an all-in-one solution for generating off-grid power and delivering clean, safe drinking water for remote communities. OffGridBox was born in 2014 when the founders became convinced that there could be a cheaper and quicker way to get drinking water and electricity to remote communities.

They began packing as much power and water purification equipment as possible into a small shipping container and sought funding to develop this into a pilot project in Rwanda.

When the shipping container arrives at the site, it needs to be laid on a solid, flat surface, with access to a water supply (ideally a well/borehole). Once the container is in place, the doors can be opened and the magic begins – the box contains everything that’s needed to install a fully functioning power and water station for a community.

A metal frame is constructed on top of the roof (or away from the container if needed) to hold the array of solar panels, then the panels are installed using easily available tools. Then, with plenty of space in the shipping container once the larger items have been moved out of the way, the water purification system can be set up. As with anything in a remote community, where parts and spares are harder access, the simpler the better. This water purification system uses a very well understood, simple process of filters to progressively remove particles from the water and then to kill any tiny bugs/germs by shining intense UV light through the water. Before the water comes out of the tap, it also gets treated with chlorine to make sure that any bugs or germs in the container that a family brings to tap are killed, to ensure the water stays safe to drink.

One of the incredible and potentially unexpected benefits of having access to electricity and lighting in the evenings is that school children can study and do their homework – grades go up noticeably and this improves the life prospects of the children.

Read more about OffGridBox here.