Power Brick, which promises to help provide electricity to households that are not connected to the grid. A collaboration between Wits University and Peco Power will enable the use of small bricks as a power source for light electrical appliances in rural areas or informal settlements.

The chest can be recharged 2000 times using solar energy.

South Africa is facing an energy crisis, which means that offloading is often done at short notice. Many in remote areas and informal settlements are still waiting to be connected to the electricity grid.

Peco has come up with a solution for residents to build a brick-and-mortar microgrid. Adding an electric brick means more electrical appliances can stay on.

“If you don’t have access to the grid, you can hook it up to a solar panel. So the solar panel can keep the battery charged so you can use your battery at night or when it’s cloudy,” says Dorian Wrigley, CEO of Peco power.

It can be used during a power outage or as a sole power source. One system can supply a load of 50 watts. It can be anything from a TV to lamps and other small household appliances.

“The problem with these mobile systems is that they are still quite low power. The bricks can be stacked together and get a maximum of 500 watts from each watt combination,” Wrigley adds.

Wrigley hopes the devices will help fight inequality and improve the lives of many people living without electricity on the continent.

VIDEO: Energy – A small brick for powering light electrical appliances in rural areas

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