A swarm grid is an energy solution that uses power cubes that are interconnected with each other. Each cube has a power rating of 200 Watts. The primary benefit of this system is that it optimizes energy use and prevents full system outages—a previously big issue for the people of Lelepa. A failure of one cube will immediately be compensated for by other units in the system.
It is an energy solution that’s a particularly good fit for many communities in Vanuatu. On Lelepa island, it will enable the community to phase out generators, and provide a more efficient solution than the current solar home systems, which were often not enough to charge a mobile phone. The maintenance of a swarm grid is straight-forward, and the system is flexible: more cubes can be added when and as more power is needed.
The technology behind this new energy solution is supplied by Power-Blox AG, an award-winning Swiss company providing automated and decentralized electricity.
“Our challenge is to electrify communities where households are far from each other. It seems that the Power Blox system can be a solution to this, and we are waiting to see if we can scale this innovative solar power approach across other islands of Vanuatu,” says Antony Garae Liu, Director of the Department of Energy at the Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disaster.
The installation of the grid started at the end of October 2019. Three power cubes now supply 600 watts, enough for the church and four community buildings.