Re: [gaia] affordable microgeneration

Arjuna Sathiaseelan <> Tue, 18 September 2018 08:56 UTC

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From: Arjuna Sathiaseelan <>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:56:24 +0100
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Subject: Re: [gaia] affordable microgeneration
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Bruce from Inveneo set me this email few years ago - which will be
extremely useful - maybe Bruce has more info on energy alternatives


Just an FYI - I am mentoring a group at CalPoly that is working on an
offline solar powered digital micro-library.  They will be distributing 50
of these to schools in remote pacific islands of Micronesia and Vanuatu
this summer.  See attached.  It is based on Rachel & a raspberry pi clone
called "Banana Pi".

Also I have two interns from San Francisco State University (SFSU) working
on evaluations of low cost micro-server digital content solutions called
the "Micro Digital Library Evaluation Project Intern Program in Conjunction
with SFSU"
In developing regions of the world, books are expensive to purchase and
Internet- based material costly to download. As more computer devices make
their way into these regions, such as low cost tablets and smartphones, a
new approach is offline whereby; preloaded “micro-servers” i.e. Raspberry Pi,
are providing this access to digital books and downloaded Internet content.
With one of these micro content servers and a few tablets, a rural school
in a developing region can now have a very affordable digital library. The
software and content are free to use, in most cases, but schools and
teachers are asking the question: what, which is the right solution to use?
This proposed project is to test four or five of these micro- server
content solutions for ease of use, compatibility with specific type of
devices, ease of adding new content, and supportability in developing
The targeted short list of micro server content solutions are:
1. Rachel Pi -
2. WiderNet -
3. Internet- in- a- Box -
4. Library For All -
5. OuterNet -

Each would be set up to test:
1. Usability specific end user type devices a. Windows Laptop b. Android
tablet c. Android Phone d. OLPC XO laptop e. Windows Tablet
2. Power usage a. Suitability for powering with a small solar panel b.
Power usage at:i. Idle ii.Normal use iii. Multiple user video streaming
3. Ease of adding new content a. Web interface b. Command line c. Space
management d. Videos

I also attached an image of an solar powered laptop lab in a box.  These
were used in Micronesia and the team at IIT is now working on a tablet

best regards

On 18 September 2018 at 09:47, Jon Crowcroft <>

> was talking to someone who is deploying educational resources in
> a country where many villages have zero electricity - we could
> get them raspberry pi or other low cost computers for free
> but these are totally useless without some power- a typical car
> battery ight run a rspi for about 2 days, which isn't much good, and
> solar panels are 10-100 times the cost of the computer itself
> has anyone surveyed affordable alternatives?
> thanks
> jon
> _______________________________________________
> gaia mailing list


Arjuna Sathiaseelan |