Buffalo Grid’s solar-powered cell phone charger activates with an SMS

Buffalo Grid solar powered cell phone charger

While mobile communications has done well in linking people living in even the most remote areas of the world with the rest, electricity supplies and grid infrastructure hasn’t improved at the same rate. This is the reason that about 650 million cell phones currently in use are off the power grid and their owners usually travel long distances to recharge their devices. A UK-based company, Buffalo Grid, has now come up with a solution in the form of a mobile cell phone charging station that is activated whenever the user sends an SMS.

The company is making use of a 60W solar panel that recharges a battery brought into areas where cell phones need charging. The charging station is carried around the villages on a bicycle by workers. Such workers can charge up to 20 phones a day using solar energy. It costs about 20 cents to fully charge a phone but an average worker in the area takes home about $1 a day.

The system is activated by a text message which costs about 110 shillings in Uganda. Once the user sends a text message, an LED light glows above a socket, indicating that it is ready to dispense power. Each SMS allows the phone to be charged for 1.5 hours and each battery features ten similar charging points and can charge up to 50 phones each day.

Phone Arena notes that Buffalo Grid is now looking to bring down the prices if it can get more carriers in the area to pay for some of the power.

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