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New solar technology learns from usage, weather patterns

By Mwaghesha Mkala | June 2nd 2016
Known as HomeSmart, the product of Azuri Technologies Limited ‘learns’ from a customer’s usage patterns to adjust and optimise its performance. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

A new solar technology targeting Kenya's rural areas has been launched. Known as - HomeSmart, the product of Azuri Technologies Limited 'learns' from a customer's usage patterns to adjust optimise its performance.

"There is continued growth in off-grid markets for 'smart' products that are simple, affordable and reliable. HomeSmart is the latest step in our 'Designed for Life' solutions specifically aimed at today's rural consumer," Azuri's CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said.

While conventional solar home systems work well in sunny conditions, they often shut off early on cloudy
days because they run out of power.

HomeSmart uses learning technology to monitor climatic conditions of the user's area. It also monitors historical customer usage patterns to ensure a full night of light, even during cloudy days.

The new system actively monitors customer usage to determine a typical expected performance. By accurately monitoring the climatic conditions, the system automatically adjusts the light brightness to meet the user's expected lighting duration.

This active optimisation of light brightness, battery charging and load conditions ensures the system delivers the best possible match to the customer's typical daily requirement with available power.

This is believed to be the first time that such machine-learning approaches have been used in
small domestic solar home systems and marks the next step in intelligent automation.

According to Azuri, the user no longer has to second-­guess how much sunlight there has been or how
much the lights have been running as their system itself can be relied up to deliver the optimal performance.

Azuri, whose origins are in Cambridge, the United Kingdom, operates in 12 countries where rural customers get access to renewable power through a pay-as-you-go initiative called PayGo. It has offices in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

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