Awarded with an R&D Grant from Efficiency for Access, with funding from UK Aid, Solaris Offgrid was commissioned to join the Low-Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) Programme Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for Interoperability, to develop an open source standardised Paygo appliance communication protocol.
The Efficiency for Access coalition supports R&D to accelerate innovation in off-grid appliance technologies through greater interoperability and cost-efficiency. Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), and coordinated jointly by the Energy Saving Trust and CLASP, the research and innovation programme LEIA aims at providing the off-grid industry with innovative technologies that have the potential to unlock life-changing energy services for the world’s poorest people.
Chris Beland from the Efficiency for Access co-secretariat said: ‘’We are delighted to award funding to Solaris Offgrid to develop an open source communication protocol as part of our research and development fund as part of the Efficiency for Access Research and Development first call. We see real benefit in the role improved interoperability can bring in building a market for diverse, affordable and highly efficient appliances. We look forward to seeing the project progress over the coming year.’’
Already integrated with 10 leading brands in the industry, Solaris Offgrid has a proven track record in developing interoperable solutions for the off-grid sector. Through its flagship product PaygOps, the tech company supports its ecosystem of customers and partners to tackle last-mile challenges. Solaris Offgrid, which share the values of the programme towards increased interoperability and compatibility, has already developed a Paygo activation protocol for its SaaS solution PaygOps, to meet distributors’ diverse needs.
As part of this project, Solaris Offgrid will oversee the development of an open-source communication protocol, to provide the industry with a standardized ecosystem that facilitates the integration of Paygo devices with a wider range of appliances. Through a pairing protocol using an open Paygo code and/or radio activation protocol, this innovation will enable to automatically activate and deactivate Paygo devices, verify electrical compatibility to prevent damages of the appliances and standardize data reporting.
“Establishing interoperability standards is critically important for the off-grid energy industry. Solar Home Systems play a vital role in achieving universal energy access for the 1.1 billion people in the world still lacking affordable and safe access to electricity. While the Paygo solar industry is expanding fast, the need is now on efficient and flexible technologies, to improve end-user accessibility. Thanks to the open-source communication protocol we are developing, we will provide the industry with a greater choice of products in a more competitive market. In addition, it will allow to better address distribution challenges, analysing the data available on usage or performance from the appliances, via a software platform such as PaygOps.” says Siten Mandalia, Co-founder and CEO at Solaris Offgrid.
To ensure the success of the mission, Solaris Offgrid will be deploying an experienced team of engineers, project managers and marketing experts, and collaborate with key players of the industry. The final milestones of the protocol, are to be delivered by April 2020. It will ensure that clients can connect appliances from manufacturer X to an SHS from manufacturer Y, while making sure their Paygo appliance can be unlocked and avoiding damage to the appliance due to electrical incompatibility.
You are a SHS player and/or accessories producer (TV, Radio, Lights, etc…) and wish to scale your operations through an open-source ecosystem? Get in touch with us: [email protected]
About Solaris Offgrid:
Solaris Offgrid supports solar energy distributors to build strong customer traction and greater relations with investors through flexible and inclusive Paygo solutions, designed for last-mile operations. Adopting a bottom up approach in the design of its solutions and creating synergies with a strong network of partners to solve last-mile challenges, the company has already deployed Paygo solutions in nearly 20 countries through PaygOps, Solaris Offgrid in-house software solution built “In the Field, for the Field” and its proprietary hardware solutions. Leading reference in the off-grid solar market, PaygOps, is engineered to deliver modular and interoperable solutions to address off-grid energy access challenges and distribution complexity. For more information on PaygOps, please contact [email protected]m.
About Efficiency for Access coalition:
Efficiency for Access first kicked off in 2015 as a year-long call to action and collaborative effort led by Global LEAP & Sustainable Energy for All. Now, a number of donors have joined together under a scaled-up Efficiency for Access – a coalition promoting energy efficiency as a potent catalyst in global clean energy access efforts. Coalition programmes aim to scale up markets and reduce prices for super-efficient, off- and weak-grid appropriate products, support technological innovation, and improve sector coordination. Current Efficiency for Access Coalition members have programmes and initiatives spanning three different continents, 44 countries, and 19 key technologies.
About the Global LEAP Awards:
Global LEAP activities seek to transform the global market for off-grid energy products by harnessing the power of marketplace competition to drive technical and market innovations in the off-grid appliance sector. This unique program has evolved into a trusted global brand that serves as the de facto source of accurate, actionable information about the quality and energy performance of off-grid appliances. The Global LEAP program is implemented through the Efficiency for Access Coalition and managed by CLASP, with support from Power Africa, UK aid, Energising Development, Powering Agriculture, and USAID. Program partners include Ideas to Impact, IMC Worldwide, Energy 4 Impact, Acumen, Shell Foundation, and GOGLA.