Rural areas in off-grid regions lack sustainable electrification solutions. CTED is researching how technology advances can help solar energy to further economic development, collecting data on solar energy through solar test beds in Abu Dhabi and is developing mobile phone technology to make photovoltaic energy a sustainable and cost-effective choice for rural off-grid electrification. CTED is working with SIM cards to reduce the cost of solar panel diagnostics and repairs, to more efficiently bring electricity to rural regions.
CTED in collaboration with the Interactive Telecommunications Program, the Courant Institute of Mathematics, has developed SIMbaLink– a low-cost, real-time solar monitoring and metering system that significantly reduces both the maintenance costs and repair times for small and large-scale solar arrays.
By showing the real-time status of a solar system to all parties, SIMbaLink addresses the common problem of accountability. SIMbaLink can be easily integrated with existing and newly installed solar systems and reduces equipment failure rates through early detection of system malfunction and bad usage practices.
SIMbaLink: Towards a Sustainable and Feasible Solar Rural Electrification System (PDF)
Nahana Schelling, Meredith J. Hasson, Sara Leeun Huong, Ariel Nevarez, Wei-Chih Lu, Matt Tierney, Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, and Harald Schutzeichel.
Proceedings of the International Conference on Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD)
London, UK, December 2010.