Vijay Modi of The Earth Institute discusses their solution to enable smallholder farmers to use a central solar energy unit to power multiple AC pumps for irrigation—taking advantage of the benefits of solar without the high costs associated with DC-powered pumps and battery storage.
Carl Bielenberg of Village Industrial Power (collaborating on the Camco Clean Energy award) discusses their plan to work with Village Industrial Power (VIP) to create 50 agro-processing plants in Benin and Tanzania using the VIP mini-grid systems powered by biomass waste.
Praveen Penmetsa of Motivo Engineering discusses their Hybrid Agriculture/Road Vehicles with Electricity Storage and Transformation (HARVEST)—a multi-purpose platform using power from varied energy sources for plowing, well-drilling, cold storage and transporting crops to market.
Laith Al-Waked of ECO Consult discusses their integrated model of hydroponic and photovoltaic farming to compete with conventional greenhouse technology and drip irrigation systems.
Sebastian Weber of African Bamboo discusses ThermoBoo—their environmentally friendly thermal bamboo modification process—allowing Ethiopia’s plentiful and renewable bamboo resources to be processed and marketed to a range of domestic and international buyers.
Kevin Davis of Rebound Technologies discusses their low-cost SunChill system that removes field heat without a high-cost electrical supply. This increases horticultural production, generating more income for farmers and greater access to food while creating employment opportunities.
Sorin Grama of Promethean Power Systems discusses their refrigeration solution that uses a thermal energy battery pack that charges on solar power and/or a few hours of grid electricity. This allows remote dairy farmers to reduce the time that milk is unchilled by 75 percent.
Brian Jensen of SunDanzer discusses their portable solar chest refrigerator that utilizes photovoltaic power to freeze phase-change material, keeping collected milk cold in sterilized aluminum milk containers until Kenyan dairy farmers transport their product to processing facilities.
William Kisaalita of the University of Georgia Research Foundation discusses their refrigeration unit powered on biogas extracted from cow manure. Reusable zeolite plates capture water vapor from the evaporative milk chilling process.
Motivo is a product engineering firm that focuses on complex engineering projects—from cars that can power micro-grids to consumer electronics and everything in between. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek and catch a glimpse of a few of their exciting projects.
“Our innovative milk chilling system, which reduces milk spoilage in rural India, would not have been possible without the Planet NI program. Through the program, NI saw the opportunity to help with a project which has significant social and environmental impact and they worked with us to make their products accessible.”
After winning 2nd place at MIT’s business plan competition, Promethean’s partners went to rural India to explore untapped opportunities when one cold-call to a large dairy in Bangalore focused them on developing a solution to chill milk without diesel power generators.