A project aimed at building affordable solar classrooms in Kenya by UK-based computer company Aleutia is underway across the 47 counties.
The program intended to serve over 20,000 primary school children will fit each classroom with equipment creating a state of the art learning environment exclusively powered by solar.
The equipment includes energy efficient computers, Projectors, Monitors, solar panels and a network infrastructure that will provide 3G internet connectivity via satellite.
The structure dubbed ‘Solar Classroom in a Box’, was developed by the University of Edinburgh School of Architecture with help from Nairobi Architects. It is made of cinder blocks and a corrugated tin roof which are not only low cost bus also provide insulation, easy transportation and are scalable upon demand.
Construction and installation takes only two days. The basic structure is assembled on the first day, while the ready to fit components of the solar kit and equipment are installed the following day with the simple expertise of a local handyman.
This integrated solar system is designed for rapid, reliable and affordable deployment while taking the characteristic guesswork out of the solar installation process.
An initial idea of retrofitting old shipping containers was shelved after what Company Director Mike Rosenberg termed as an expensive model, with prohibitive transport and installation costs that would require the use of a crane.
Aleutia has thus far deployed 180 solar classrooms in off-grid rural areas across 10 different countries. The approximate cost of each classroom is estimated to be $20,000 including equipment and networking infrastructure. The company also provides Solar Healthcare solutions.