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City-Wide Subscription-Based Solar-Powered Charging Depots

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Feb 23, 2022
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Charging depots situated at strategic locations in developing countries that lack stable electricity where citizens can charge their devices for a fee.
Electricity is vital to how we live these days, given it powers our phones, laptops, TVs, cooking appliances, and many others. However, 768 million people still have no electricity access as at 2021, according to Statista. 78% of these reside in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The proposed city-wide solar charging depots will help alleviate this problem by providing a means for people in these places to charge portable devices, like their phones, laptops, powerbanks, and rechargeable lamps.
How will they work?
Speaking from experience, some locations have more access than others. This venture will target those who have less access. Here is how it will work:
  • Build solar-powered charging depots at strategic locations city-wide
  • Users should pay a subscription fee for access, either hourly or monthly
  • Users pick up their device(s) a couple of hours later after it must have charged
I propose the use of mailbox like compartments. You charge your devices inside, lock it, and drop the key at the front desk before exiting the depot. When you come back for the device, you will be identified after which you will be provided the key to your "mailbox" to retrieve your devices.
The alternative is that people can stay with their devices while they charge, but I think that will prove ineffective cost-wise.
By the way, these depots don't all have to be solar-powered. They, however, have to use renewable energy sources.
Thought Process
I am a remote worker living in a Nigerian city, yet has to get by on about seven hours of electricity per week on average. Granted, that isn't the case across board, but it is a big problem nonetheless. Most of the time, I make do with a personal power generator that uses fossil fuel. However, there has been scarcity for over a month now and those who are lucky enough to get fuel do so at exorbitant prices.
Meanwhile, a personal solar power generator is too expensive for the average person to be an option. Besides, it is still not cost effective enough to displace the fossil fuel alternatives; hence, this idea.
What do you think? How would you approach this problem?
Creative contributions

Pay per amper hour

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Feb 23, 2022
People could pay per power drawn. Identify yourself (sign in with an account that has sufficient prepaid balance) to get your port activated. Then the power outlet bills you for actual power drawn at the end.
There could be an additional charge for keeping the plug occupied while not drawing power. This is to prevent idle users from occupying the ports in vain.
Make it possible to charge anything from cars to phones.
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Shared ownership of solar power generators

Michaela D
Michaela D Feb 24, 2022
Oguntola Tobi you mentioned that personal solar power generators are too expensive. What if a group of people, for example, neighbors, bought one or two together and shared the use during the day in a rotating schedule? Each person could have one for a few hours per day. Alternatively, one person buys a solar power generator and rents it out during the day.
Your idea of city-wide depots is a better solution in the long term; this is an alternative that people can execute right away until the depots are constructed.
Do you think it is a feasible idea?
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi2 years ago
This idea seems so obvious now that I think about it. And yes, I think it's a feasible idea.
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Michaela D
Michaela D2 years ago
Go for it ;-)
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