Dec 09, 2011
Samsung Africa launches solar-powered Internet schoolsBack
© Reuse this
A world first, the exclusively solar-powered mobile and completely independent classroom is designed particularly for use in remote rural areas with limited or no access to electricity.
The Solar Powered Internet School model tackles one of Africa’s biggest economic challenges, namely electricity supply. On average, less than 25% of rural areas on the continent benefit from electricity, resulting in isolated communities with limited access to education and connectivity – both of which are key to fast-tracking a nation’s development.
The initiative is an example of Samsung’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) investment on the continent, and its keen focus on education and harnessing the company’s legacy of innovation to respond to the needs of people on the continent. The launch follows the roll-out of Samsung Africa’s ‘Built for Africa’ product range and the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy earlier this year.
“We have set an ambitious goal for ourselves in Africa: to positively affect five-million lives by 2015. We believe that this can most effectively be achieved if we connect our CSR initiatives with our history and core business. With the goal to grow our business on the continent, we also know that we have to sustain our level of innova- tion. This can only be achieved if we invest in education to facilitate African thought leader- ship and to ensure we have access to a large workforce of skilled engineers in the future. The Solar Powered Internet School is a great example of this strategy at play,” says Samsung Electronics Africa president and CEO KK Park.
A 12-m-long shipping container is used to build a Solar Powered Internet School, making the schools easily transportable by truck to remote areas. The schools are built for energy- scarce environments, harsh weather conditions and for transportation over long distances. Fold-away solar panels provide enough energy to power the classroom’s equipment for up to nine hours a day and for one-and-a-half days without any sunlight at all. The solar panels are made from rubber instead of glass to ensure they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent.
The classroom can comfortably accommodate 21 learners, and includes several layers of insulation and a ventilation system to ensure that a temperate environment is maintained. Each classroom is fitted with a 127 cm electronic e-board and different Samsung notebooks and netbooks, including the world-first solar-powered netbooks and Galaxy tablets for student and teacher interface, all of which have been engineered for use in a solar-powered environment.
“The amount of power generated by the schools each day means these schools can be used beyond the traditional school day as an adult education centre in the afternoons or a community centre over weekends.
Our goal is to create an environment that would facilitate learning for whole communities in remote areas that otherwise don’t have access to educational tools or Internet connectivity,” Park adds.
The school is also equipped with an energy efficient refrigerator, a file server, a router, uninterruptible power supply, a video camera and a world-first WiFi camera, all of which are designed to communicate through 3G. This allows a central location, such as the Depart- ment of Education, to monitor classes and deliver curriculum-based content directly to both the learners’ and educators’ notebooks.
The server contains the complete South African school curriculum, from grade 0 to grade 12, allowing the school to teach any school subject or grade.
In the unlikely event of a complete power outage, teachers can continue their lessons using a regular built-in whiteboard and chalkboard. Samsung LED lighting ensures reduced power consumption, while remote solar power diagnostics are in place in the event of a power supply complication.
With 21 students and one teacher, as well as other members of the community, making use of the classroom daily, Samsung has installed its environment-friendly Virus Doctor air-purification system to ward off the spread of germs within the classroom.
The Samsung Super Plasma ion technology emits active hydro- gen and oxygen ions into the air, inhibiting infection by airborne viruses and destroying airborne bacteria, fungi and allergens.
The Solar Powered Internet School prototype is currently being piloted at the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy, in Boksburg. It has also been sent to Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, to undergo further testing as a functioning learning and teaching environment, with the aim to scale up production of the container schools in future.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
Energy Roundup – February 2016 (PDF Report)
The February 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for December 2015 and January 2016 and includes details of a Government Gazette notice that confirms Cabinet’s decision to move ahead with the 9 600 MW nuclear procurement programme; State-owned power...
Energy Roundup - December 2015 (PDF Report)
The December 2015 roundup includes details of State-owned utility Eskom’s application to claw back R22.8-billion; South Africa’s ranking as an investment destination for renewable energy; and a nuclear expert’s thoughts on reactor designs for South Africa’s nuclear...
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
This Week's Magazine
Power and automation company ABB is in the launch phase of its highest payload, multipurpose industrial robot, the IRB 8700. The robot has a reach of 3.5 m and can handle a payload of up to 800 kg. “When designing the IRB 8700, we emphasised reach and payload, as...
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a critical facet of a connected security ecosystem, as controlling the confidentiality, integrity and authorisation of data access and use is key to securing new digital business channels. However, companies face several...
Data underpins digital business models, the digital economy, the Internet of Things and the fundamental changes in the ways people interact and protecting data is crucial to securing new ways of doing business, says T-Systems South Africa information and...
The City of Cape Town will issue a tender for the procurement of electric buses for its MyCiTi service, in line with the council’s commitment to lower its carbon footprint, says executive mayor Patricia de Lille. The tender, to be advertised early in February, will...
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority signed a R10-million contract last month with local tailings storage facility specialists Cyclone Engineering Projects to remove about 100 000 m3 of dredge spoil obstructing the natural course of the uMfolozi river, in...