Inveneo Guide Archives

Inveneo Solar Power Deployment Guide for ICT Projects

  1. Posted by Inveneo on June 28, 2011 in the categories: News, Publications

Many people believe that solar power is too expensive to use for powering computer installations in remote or rural areas that are without a connection to the AC grid. However, there have been two recent developments that have significantly lowered the cost of solar.

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  1. The power consumption requirement of low-cost computers and peripherals has come down considerably.
  2. The cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically, with some panels selling in the US for as much at 70% less than typical 2008 prices.

If you are thinking about deploying computers in remote rural locations or in countries with erratic grid power, the cost of reliable, long-term, low-maintenance power has never been lower.

Inveneo Solar Power Deployment Guide

The Inveneo Solar Power Deployment Guide will show you how to specify, design and build your own small-scale self-contained solar power system. The guide’s purpose is not to make you a world-class expert on solar technology. Rather, we will take a “hands-on” approach, emphasizing a step-by-step method to designing and building truly practical solar systems.

As there are a large number of “tricks of the trade” involved when installing a solar system, we do not usually recommend a do-it-yourself approach for beginners. It is better to work with an experienced solar installer, especially if you have never worked with solar or other power systems before.

After reading this guide, you should be able to estimate the size, level of complexity and cost of small to medium- sized PC installations, and you will understand the basic theory and practice. This guide is focused on completely battery-operated PC and network installations. It does not discuss battery backup systems for generator- or AC- grid-powered locations.

More Information

If you would like to read a high-level summary on the viability and usefulness of solar power systems, you can refer to the Intel Corporation paper, “Solar Power for PC Deployments: Enabling ICT Beyond the Grid“. We have also developed a list of Solar Power Resources for Designing PV Systems in Rural Computer Projects

Accelerating Broadband to the First Mile – an Inveneo White Paper

  1. Posted by Inveneo on April 27, 2011 in the categories: News, Publications

Just 9.6% of the total population in Africa has access to the Internet. This is less than 1/5th and 1/6th of the rate in the Americas and Europe, respectively. But this statistic does not convey the real situation in the world’s poorest countries. Of Africa’s 48 sub-­Saharan countries, 29 (60%) have total Internet usage rates (at any speed) of less than 3%, and 15 (31%) show less than 1%. Broadband access rates are far lower still.

Thus, while wireless broadband has exploded in much of the world, as the ITU’s 2009 report points out, there remains “a dramatic broadband divide, with very few fixed broadband subscribers or mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa.”

Inveneo believes that closing the broadband gap will require new, collaborative and low-cost broadband service delivery models. Moreover, we believe that the essential components of such a model already exist; what’s needed is a well-conceived and coordinated effort to bring them together in a functioning service delivery framework.

In the Accelerating Broadband to the First Mile white paper, Inveneo and our partners are working to define and deploy a novel, locally sustainable wireless broadband delivery model, starting in Haiti.

The Inveneo­-led Haiti Rural Broadband (HRB) initiative is a collaborative program seeking to catalyze sustainable broadband access in underserved parts of Haiti. The program is founded on the idea that dramatic capital and operating cost savings can be realized through the use of ultra-low-cost wireless technologies, an emphasis on building local IT capacity to deploy and support broadband infrastructure and new approaches to cooperative network ownership and management.

HRB’s primary short-term objective is to bring affordable, reliable and sustainable broadband access to 6 regions and 20 currently un-served population centers across Haiti. The longer-term goal is to explore how the HRB model can be replicated in similarly rural and low resource areas across the developing world.

Inveneo Hardware Solution Guide: When to use desktops, laptops, and thin clients in rural ICT installations

  1. Posted by Inveneo on January 26, 2011 in the categories: News, Publications

Inveneo offers a range of solutions for low-resource environments. We have developed an informational matrix to help you understand the benefits of each solution and decide which one best meets your needs.

The matrix lists the three major types of computer configurations and grades each on four key benefits. Use this matrix to rank the benefits you value the most and find the solution that’s right for you. More detailed explanations of the configurations and benefits are below.

Types of Computer Configurations:

  • Desktop: Most suitable for difficult environments is the very low-power-consumption Inveneo High-Performance Computing Station, intended for regular use at a single location. This system provides excellent performance with a very low 5-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
  • Laptop: A portable computer, such as the Inveneo Classmate PC Laptop, that is small and light and contains an integrated screen and keyboard. Laptops are designed for maximum portability and use wherever needed. Laptops can be fragile, and are always more expensive to maintain than desktops.

Benefits

  • Cost Effectiveness per User: Thin clients use a single CPU to serve multiple screens. Therefore, the hardware cost per user can be dramatically lower than if a separate computer is purchased for each user. Almost all laptops are more expensive at most performance levels compared to typical desktops.
  • Durability: Low-power consumption desktops with hardened hardware and software are the most durable computers in hot, dusty environments. Individual components, such as keyboards or mice can be easily and inexpensively replaced if there is a problem, whereas laptops are more expensive to repair or replace.
  • Mobility: Laptops are the smallest and lightest computers, designed for use on any flat surface, including your lap, while thin clients must be located closer to each other to operate and the server PC is not easy to move. Desktops can be moved, but are not truly portable.
  • Performance: Desktops and Laptops can be equally powerful, because each has its own CPU. With a Thin Client system the power of the single CPU must be shared among all the users, so graphics performance, in particular, is the lowest of the three types.

Inveneo ICT Sustainability Primer: What to consider when designing ICT projects for low-resource environments

  1. Posted by Inveneo on November 9, 2010 in the categories: News, Publications

Since 2006, Inveneo and our Certified ICT Partners have delivered innovative information and communication technology (ICT) solutions reaching more than 1,500,000 people in over 500 communities in 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Haiti.

We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way on how to make an ICT project sustainable in resource-constrained environments, and we’re like to share them with you.
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Inveneo ICT Sustainability Primer

Inveneo specializes in delivering sustainable solutions for challenging rural and underserved environments. We design and build affordable, robust and reliable ICT systems for locations that have little power or Internet service. These areas often lack the local expertise necessary to successfully deploy and maintain technology. Therefore, we devote a large part of our efforts toward skills development.

Our goal with the Inveneo ICT Sustainability Primer (PDF) is to present these lessons as guidance to those planning ICT-intensive projects in low-resource settings in order to help them avoid common pitfalls. We cover everything from project management to ICT and power infrastructure, to support and facilities.

Yet we don’t pretend to have all the answers – we welcome your feedback and input to improve the sustainability of all ICT projects. Please email your comments and we’ll incorporate them into future editions of the Primer.