In recent years, Power-Blox as a social entrepreneur has worked intensively with partners in Tanzania, Cameroon, Mali and Nepal to develop a new business model that “ensures access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.
Together with our partner SunSweet Solar we have developed a business model based on solar charging stations for mobile phones, said Alessandro Medici, CTO and founder of Power-Blox. But this is just the beginning. Further products and services will follow, like: Electricity meters for pay-as-you-go systems, Water pumps, Rack storage, Bidirectional prosumer meters with blockchain trading and dedicated meters for energy flow in swarm networks/mini grids, Intelligent connectors, Sensors for various data.
Power-Blox was facing three major challenges:
- How to provide globally available energy management on thousands of single and clustered Power-Blox units while having to negotiate with hundreds of Mobile Network Operators and dozens of price plans?
- How to provide a global stable and 24/7/365 available energy management and trading platform?
- Security? Data coming from and going to a Power-Blox have to be handled confidential. Power-Blox wants to ensure their clients best possible privacy.
HOW IT WORKS
Each PBX cluster consists of one to nine PBX devices, controlled by an embedded Linux gateway, responsible for the device and cloud communication. All actors and sensors within a PBX exchange their data with the gateway via a PBX internal Bluetooth transceiver. The gateway connects to a local available WiFi network and in case of a WiFi unavailability automatically switches to the globally accessible mobile network provided by ConnectedYou.
ConnectedYou acts as a single point of contact for the best global and local mobile network operators. It’s unique IoT service platform consolidates the best services and solutions of these MNO partners.
“Having a SIM in each gateway is affordable and business critical for us, because ConnectedYou offers the best possible prices, seamless connectivity around the globe, today and in future with the possibility to change Mobile-Network-Providers anytime, flexible over the air (OTA)” said Beat Lehmann, CEO of Power-Blox.
WHAT KIND OF DATA IS TRANSMITTED
Two kinds of data are transmitted:
- In the beginning the data volume will concentrate on small data in order to control and monitor the PBX devices in a bi-directional way.
- “In the future we can imagine to providing even Internet access over the same gateway infrastructure” said Beat Lehmann.
FIRST DEPLOYMENTS ARE
- Power Supply for allotment gardens in Switzerland
- Power supply for the telephone communication to 200 – 300 Mountain huts for Swisscom in Switzerland
- Village electrification in Mali, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, 50 to 500 Villages per year
- Electrification of a hospital in Nepal to run the dialysis equipment
- Special equipment for disaster relief agencies such as the DEZA, Médecins sans frontières (doctors without borders) and the red cross
- Electrification of refugee villages for UNDP / UNHCR
- Various projects within the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals
WHY CONNECTEDYOU WAS CHOSEN
- One single partner for all global data communication (M2M)
- Cost-efficient scale up to larger data volumes
- Real-time SIM card management
- Secure communication with devices
- Efficient data visualization
In order to fulfil the project goals in short time and professional way, it is very important for Power-Blox to have a partner like ConnectedYou, who provides flexible and secure connectivity and data management on a global scale.
Thanks to ConnectedYou, Power-Blox is able to create a great business package for their partners and clients on a global scale, react fast and professional to their communication in a rapidly growing IoT B2B market.
Especially the advanced real-time SIM card management tools by ConnectedYou makes it very practical for Power-Blox to manage devices and their data consumption in real time around the globe.
In the future Power-Blox plans embed the SIM modules into their PBX-Gateways. This will greatly reduce the SIM logistic because there will be no physical SIM handling. All SIM services will be managed over the air, directly and 100% flexible.
Power-Blox is an award-winning Swiss company who develops, produces and distributes intelligent swarm electrification solutions. It has developed a ground-breaking, potentially disruptive technology, which supported by an algorithm, allows the setup of a swarm-grid with a decentralized architecture and no centralized control (i.e. master/slave principle). This enables an automated and decentralized power regulation and storage within the grid. We call it “the internet of energy” as it follows the principles of the Arpanet. The system is self-learning and self-regulating; it regulates power production, consumption and distribution in the grid intelligently and autonomously. Moreover, it allows to easily combine different energy sources and battery systems, without the need for configuration. Power-Blox has already won several awards (Axpo Energy Award 2014, UN National Energy Globe Award of Tanzania 2015). The nearly endless scalability of the Power-Blox system represents a breakthrough in energy technology. It allows scalable growth based on increasing energy demands, without the need of modifying/replacing existing installations. Power-Blox was founded in July 2015 by Alessandro Medici and Armand Martin. It is a privately held company headquartered in Frick, Switzerland.