The Energy Box, a groundbreaking device that delivers energy to off-grid schools and medical centers, was recently unveiled by Israel-based Innovation: Africa (iA), a 12-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to bringing Israeli solar, water and agricultural technologies to rural African villages.

Created and produced by engineers at Innovation: Africa’s Herzliya Pituah headquarters with the Israeli product design firm MOTA design studio, about the Energy Box provides sufficient light and energy to power all of a facility’s laptops and/or medical equipment.

This novel solar technology enables a more sustainable, efficient and scalable energy solution in the form of a sleek white aluminum box housing a lithium-ion battery made by Israeli startup Dan-Tech Energy. The battery provides a higher energy density than a standard battery and can last for six years.

Each Energy Box is shipped to iA’s projects across Africa along with 30 LED light bulbs manufactured in Tzuba, Israel by Bioled Eco Light Systems. The bulbs come in a range of sizes and last up to 10 years, further reducing the need for costly replacement and maintenance.

An Innovation: Africa technician installing a light bulb. Photo: courtesy

Furthermore, the Energy Box integrates a remote monitoring system, for which Innovation: Africa received the United Nations Innovation Award in 2013. The remote monitoring system provides real-time tracking of each project and can predict and prevent technical issues from arising before they occur.

A schematic of iA’s Energy Box.

A smaller version of the Energy Box, with five LED bulbs, can be used to power the individual homes of doctors, nurses and teachers.

Innovation: Africa has offices in six African countries staffed with full-time local engineers, field officers and technicians hired and trained by iA to carry out installations, maintenance and repairs.

According to the International Energy Agency, 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa still lack access to electricity. Moreover, over 60% of hospitals and medical centers across the region have an unreliable source of electricity, or no access at all.

“At Innovation: Africa we always strive to continue innovating and providing solutions that are long-lasting and empowering to rural communities. I am so proud of our latest development, the Energy Box. It truly shows our commitment to finding, developing and using simple, existing solutions to solve problems facing rural African communities,” said Sivan Ya’ari, CEO and Founder of Innovation: Africa.