IEEE Smart Village Launches SunBlazer IV

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Posted On: 03.11.2019
  • PBK and USB charging shelf

  • A-Frame with simulated panels

  • Reinforced steel container with lock

  • SunBlazer IV Electrical panel


IEEE Smart Village announced a new generation of SunBlazer technology has been developed as part of their on-going mission to empower off-grid communities around the world. This fourth generation of innovation is lighter, more modular, more rugged and easier to install making it very adaptable for the multitude of use-cases envisioned for the community-scale solution.

The original mobile SunBlazer concept was the brainchild of John Lorts, neighbor of Ray Larsen, chair of IEEE Smart Village. John also donated the name SunBlazer to IEEE. “We are glad to make the SunBlazer IV available to the entrepreneurs that we are enabling,” said Mr. Larsen. “It is a self-contained portable modular system designed for quick deployment at lower cost and higher security and ruggedness than the original mobile SunBlazer. It is much easier to deploy than the prior stationary SB-II and III designs. Constant improvement is good”.

SB-IV is also easily scalable from small to large systems, from powering small community homes and schools through portable light kits (PBKs) on the one hand, to driving a microgrid for larger home and business loads such as water pumping, electric machine tools and street lighting on the other. Coupled with a new, simpler stand-alone A-Frame solar panel mounting system, installation is much simpler than used in SBs II and III. A significant change is that multiple SB-IV’s can be ganged for increased capacity above the base system of 2kW to 20kW or more peak power. These larger systems can simultaneously charge PBKs, electric vehicles and drive microgrids to deliver either DC or AC power to a whole range of uses. The modularity of all parts and independence from rooftop mounting makes the entire system quickly reconfigurable or movable for changing demands and conditions. The standardized design makes in-country manufacture much simpler and allows for establishing suppliers near the points of need.

The SB-IV version is easy to ship as it comes with all the control and battery wiring pre-installed in a hardened steel case that does not require external pallets. All internal parts especially batteries are anchored securely for transport. The A-Frame is easy to assemble using a pre-fabricated drill jig to facilitate use of local, standard steel pipes for the assembly where the solar panels can be mounted.

The base unit key components include six, 300 watt solar panels that provide a controlled charge to two, 200 Ah station batteries located in a steel, lockbox. Inside, eight charging stations, under the secure control of a Solar Charge Controller, simultaneously provide power to Portable Battery Kits. The 12V, 12 Ah LiFePO4 battery kits have a digitally encrypted key that can only be re-authenticated by being charged at the SunBlazer. In this way, clients cannot risk damage by trying to charge from a random non-SunBlazer charger.

The base unit SB-IV can house an optional 230V, 1500 watt AC output which allows a combination of AC and DC powered devices to be fed from the same SunBlazer. Small appliances, like refrigerators, motors, or irrigation stations can be fed from the base unit platform via a Microgrid connection.

IEEE Smart Village is a priority initiative of the IEEE Foundation, a non-profit organization qualified under the United States IRS code 501 c(3). For more information about these worldwide impact solutions or to assist with technological innovation like the SunBlazer and other solutions, please visit smartvillage.ieee.org.

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