Even temporary loss of energy can have a catastrophic impact on Malawi’s public health facilities. Power shortages can prove fatal for patients relying on life support machines, oxygen supply apparatus, and incubators.
The need for more reliable energy infrastructure is urgent. Various humanitarian aid organisations are dedicated to the deployment of solutions that generate energy from the country’s more abundant natural resources – such as sunlight to power solar systems. Furthermore, the implementation of technology that enables remote control and monitoring of new energy infrastructure means that issues can be diagnosed and rectified quickly, and efficiency of deployments can be measured.
Centurion required a device that would keep its Raspberry Pi units connected to the internet without the use of external power or any other manual intervention, so the amount of energy generated by the system could be measured, and issues could be identified and rectified around the clock without the need for site visitation.
Centurion’s solution, which features a custom-designed system that utilises a Raspberry Pi, allows users to conduct yield analysis, forecast performance, and observe equipment and production in real time in order to maximise performance and diagnose issues.
Introducing Linkwave’s PiloT
After trying several unsuccessful methods of keeping the Raspberry Pi connected to the internet, Centurion Solar trialled Linkwave’s PiloT.
The PiloT is a cellular communications board with optional GNSS functionality. It utilises an on-board Sierra Wireless HL Series module, providing a cellular interface which allows data transfer with systems that are sited in remote locations where no other communications services are available – minimising the time, cost, and labour involved in installation and troubleshooting.
The PiloT is available in two variants – the PiloT 3GL, which offers hexaband 3G/HSPA for global coverage, with fallback to EDGE/GPRS, and SiRF V GNSS technology, and the PiloT 4G-1, which is an LTE CAT-1 device with fallback to 2G for Europe.
In under a year, the “hospital-in-a-box” project has been deployed at close to 100 sites. The implementation of the PiloT has been instrumental in aiding the success of a solution that has proved invaluable in monitoring the solar systems that power life-saving equipment.
See a full description of this product: Linkwave PiloT HL7692 4G Cat-1 IoT Raspberry-Pi Hat