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Renewable energy

Agenda 21

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Market scope

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Design & construction

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Environmental issues

A Solo Mk II prototype with a 14.1-inch LCD screen uses only 12WATTS of power.
Solo power comparison
For the same amount of energy used to power a 100WATT light bulb, we can run eight Solo computers.

Modern Pentium-powered PC systems can swallow up to 500w of mains electricity, including the monitor. A Lap-top portable computer typically consumes 60w of power, and most new models are designed to slow the processor speed when running from the precious reserves of the internal battery.

These energy requirements constitute a serious brake on the accessibility to computing facilities by the Two-thirds World - a brake that is released by the Solo's ultra-low power requirements.

Renewable energy:

Solo computers use power supplies which can accept a wide range of input voltages, and are highly suited for use from renewable energy sources.

Both solar-power and wind-turbines produce variable output. When there is excess power available, the Solo will store it in a battery, and when there is a power-deficit, the energy is recovered from the battery again. A typical PV (photovoltaic) solar panel can drop to about 10% of its peak output power when a cloud crosses the sun, but such fluctuations will not affect the programs being run in the Solo.

Solo prototype Mk II at primary school

Village school

West Africa, June 2002. A solar panel (right) provides power to the Solo computer used by the teacher.

It would be more usual for the Solo itself to be used indoors in lower ambient light.

Click here to display a larger (71k) JPEG image of this graphic

When its internal batteries are full, the Solo power supply can be used to store electricity in an external car battery. This can either be used to power the computer at night or to run other devices such as a printer or lighting.

See also the information on the power supply specification for the Solo computer.
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Agenda 21

The Solo computer satisfies the aims and objectives of the environmental directive, Agenda21, agreed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Agenda21 identifies the need for "sustainable development using on renewable resources".

At the beginning of the 21st century we were faced with large parts of Silicon Valley in the USA under rolling power-cuts due to their inability to provide sufficient electricity to power the air-conditioning required to extract the excess heat from their PC-equipped offices! And yet few other countries can afford to throw so much energy, money and pollution at resolving such a problem.

With Solo technology they won't need to. Solo is Agenda21 technology with teeth!
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Last modified: 25-jul-2002