Partners from Columbia University, UC Berkeley, Scatec (Norway) and Millenium Promise have developed a modular micro-untility system called SharedSolar. SharedSolar systems utilize a network of micro-grids, each controlled with a unique prepaid metering system that leverages existing and widely distributed mobile telephony networks. Through remote management, the metering costs are signficantly minimized and automated dispatch further drives monitoring and maintenance costs. GROUND Lab created a custom Open Source logic board with an embedded GPS, GSM, GPRS module to transmit the metering data via SMS or GPRS connection to the rest of the SharedSolar system. An initial pilot in Pelengana, Mali was initiated in late 2010 to test the technology.
Materials: Arduino MEGA Reference Design, GSM/GPRS/GPS module, GSM and GPS antennas and supporting hardware. Thanks a lot to Sparkfun for donating the Atmel chips!