Zambia is larger than Germany and the United Kingdom combined but has only 14 million inhabitants. Connecting the electricity grid to every household and business in a developing country with such a low population density is impossible but access to electricity remains very important for economic development. FuturaSun, an Italian solar PV manufacturer, and Necor, a Zambian ICT company, are working together on a solution for this. Funding has been acquired for getting the project started. They are now looking for students who can help design and implement a solar powered mini-grid, which can bring electricity to rural villages in Zambia!
Since the users are mostly unfamiliar with solar energy and have a very low purchasing power it is a mayor technical and economic challenge to implement a system like this. Therefore innovative technologies and new business models need to be considered to make it work. The students should help to come up with smart ideas and also look at ways how a system like this can contribute to the productivity and economic development of a rural village. The students will live in the capital Lusaka but will also travel to remote villages to conduct research.