In order for rural communities in the developing world to access energy for productive uses like fabrication, food preservation, milling and different economic activities, they require access to minigrid-scale power (typically 10kwp or below). Yet minigrids are notoriously commercially unsustainable, due to the capital expenditure required, and difficulties in efficiently matching loads and supply throughout the day and week.
One particular problem we have noticed in our work in rural development throughout East Africa is that very high power loads, like milling machines, are sometimes only used 1 or 2 days a week in mid-size communities, contributing precisely to that uneven load profile. To facilitate energy access and access to these productive uses in more small and mid-size communities in Africa, we developed mobile "minigrid" scale energy access solution.
By installing 10kw of rapidly deployable solar power in a trailer, we would create a solution which could be driven to a different village each day, offering not only the high-power occasional services like flour milling or welding, but also a range of other productive uses like battery charging, printing and photocopying that might not usually be available in those communities.
The integrated battery/mobility solution provide productive-level energy access to communities that would otherwise not be able to justify the cost/power of their own minigrid, while at the same time providing a reliably high load-factor for the equipment, allowing efficient utilisation and payback potential from the mobile minigrid operator.