SUMMARY: BoxPower seeks to facilitate off-grid electrification in low-income rural populations by providing consumers with hybrid renewable microgrids. Our hope is that our energy systems plug-and-play units built around standard 20 ft. shipping containers will help lay the foundations for a sustainable future, starting with the most economically vulnerable populations.
PROBLEM SPACE: “Providing electricity to rural consumers is a global problem: there are over 1.2 billion people living worldwide without electricity access. This greatly hinders access to adequate healthcare, impinges on economic productivity, and stifles educational attainment. According to Hystra’s Access to Energy report, electricity access increases rural household incomes by $150/month, enables students to study after dark, and can prevent 1.6 million annual deaths caused by indoor pollution from kerosene lamps and fires. But most methods of providing electricity access come with significant drawbacks. The most common method of rural electrificationmdiesel generators produces more than 40 carcinogenic toxins, and is responsible for a 14% rise in asthma in Nigeria (N. Awofeso 2011). BoxPower systems consume 93% less fuel than diesel generators, providing off-grid communities with cleaner air and fewer health problems.
Crucially, BoxPower also helps consumers save money. Regardless of whether we are replacing candles, kerosene lanterns, diesel generators, or residential solar systems, BoxPower provides electricity that is cheaper, cleaner, and more convenient than any other source.”
SOLUTION: “Our initiative reimagines electrical infrastructure as renewable, modular, and distributed.
To accomplish this, we have developed a containerized microgrid housed in a standard 20 ft. shipping container, which acts as the system’s base and frame. It incorporates a PV-solar array, wind turbine, battery bank, backup generator, and a smart energy management system, all pre-assembled in a plug-and-play system. Thanks to the ubiquitous use of shipping containers in international trade, our product can be affordably transported practically anywhere in the world. A single unit will provide enough energy to power multiple homes, as well as small-scale agricultural or industrial operations, and multiple units can be linked together to meet energy demands of any size.
We will pair this hardware with a business model of microgrids-as-a-service, to make renewable energy accessible to consumers who cannot afford the upfront costs associated with traditional renewable energy systems. Unlike diesel generators, which have a low initial capital cost and high ongoing operating costs, renewable energy systems have a high initial capital cost and relatively low operating costs. By providing microgrids-as-a-service, we can recoup the initial capital costs of our systems through monthly payments, while still providing consumers with immediate savings in avoided fuel expenditures.”
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