Innovation That Matters

| Photo source NoorNation

Solar-powered 'life boxes' for rural and underserved areas

Agriculture & Energy

These modular boxes bring green power and clean water to farms and off-grid communities in Africa

Spotted: Africa has great energy potential, including in areas such as hydro, wind, solar, and biomass, but too many people on the continent currently lack energy access. And, at the same time, UNICEF estimates that 418 million people on the continent also lack access to even basic drinking water infrastructure.

Egyptian startup NoorNation is hoping to tackle both issues by providing decentralised solar energy and water solutions targeted at farms, underserved communities, and emergency situations. The company’s flagship product, LifeBox, combines solar energy with water pumping and desalination in a self-contained, plug-and-play unit. The system allows farmers to irrigate their crops without relying on increasingly volatile and expensive water and energy supplies.

The LifeBox features a modular design that allows users to customise solar energy and water solutions depending on the size of farms and the local community. It uses an IoT-enabled remote monitoring system to collect data to help optimise operations and maintenance and keep the system running reliably.

Last year, NoorNation received a $20,000 (around €18,400) grant from the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Programme, along with an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from the Catalyst Fund. The money will be used to help NoorNation scale effectively, optimise operations, and enhance its technological capabilities.

As climate change increases the unpredictability of rainfall, Springwise is spotting more innovations aimed at providing access to water. These include solar-powered desalination systems and a portable system that recycles greywater.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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