Hosted by IDTechEx
Off Grid Energy Independence
Posted on August 9, 2017 by  & 

Solar powered education in resource-constrained locations

SolarSPELL is a Solar Powered Educational Learning Library: a ruggedized, portable solar-powered digital library over an off-line WiFi hotspot, designed to simulate an online experience. Making use of open educational resources and ever-smaller and more efficient technology, SolarSPELL provides an all-in-one, self-powered plug-and-play kit, ready to be deployed with minimal training or maintenance required for start-up and continued operation.
The goal of SolarSPELL goal is to provide relevant, localized educational content to resource-constrained locations around the world. Their team includes university students, librarians, faculty and staff who partner with locally-based development-minded organizations, providing local training, in a train-the-trainers model, as well as support, post-implementation. SolarSPELL is an initiative led by Prof. Laura Hosman and it is housed at Arizona State University.
The SolarSPELL library (2017 version) consists of:
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Microcomputer
  • 64 GB SanDisk SD Card pre-loaded with open-access educational content
  • 10W Eco-Worthy Solar Panel
  • Voltage Regulator
  • 10,000 mAh Rechargeable Rav-Power Battery
  • Micro USB Connector Cords
Bill of Materials: Here is a link to our 2016 Bill of Materials
Implementation of first 200+ libraries
SolarSPELLhave teamed up with the US Peace Corps in the Pacific Islands: to date, in Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Samoa, and Tonga. Peace Corps volunteers in the Pacific Islands are stationed at remote, rural schools and health care clinics for two years. The team believes this solar digital library provides a synergistic tool for the Peace Corps volunteers, whether in their educational or health-related responsibilities, bringing access to relevant information where and when it is needed.
To date, SolarSPELL team members have traveled to FSM, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Samoa in 2015-2017 to carry out training with the Peace Corps volunteers and deploy the first 200+ SPELL libraries—but that is just the first step. The project incorporates feedback from the field into ongoing improvements, as the team look to expand and scale across the Pacific Islands, and beyond, in the coming years.
Source and top image: SolarSPELL
More IDTechEx Journals