Using Particle to Build Energy Access in Last Mile Communities

@jaza_tom and I have been working on a cool project that uses a Particle Electron to control energy systems in remote communities. Jaza builds Hubs in communities where most people aren’t connected to the grid, either because it doesn’t exist or it is too expensive. The Hubs are solar powered and provide in-home electricity by means of a portable battery pack. Customers swap packs at the Hub and take them home to power LED lights and USB devices. Each charge last about a week. We use electron to control the Hub charging infrastructure and point of sale system. We launched last spring and have 24 Hubs built so far in Tanzania.

If this project interests you, get in touch because we are hiring!
careers at



I’m building portable solar power systems with Wifi / 3G Cellular to send system status to a dashboard which could easily be used to turn the power output ON / OFF based on client payment just like your doing.

You guys way of doing it reduces the cost down to the battery and LED lights which is nice.

What kind of batteries are you using? AGM? Lithium? 17Ah - 20Ah?

How long will one of those battery packs last them on average before they bring it back?

How much does it cost them per battery?

There is a lot of potential to help these people in these underdeveloped parts of the world.

We use 10 Ah AGM batteries. They last about a week, depending on the user’s habits. The kits we sell include up to 3 x 3W LED bulbs and a single USB port. For heavy users it might last 3 days. For more conservative users 10 days. It costs about $0.50 per charge, which is less than half of what an average household spends weekly on kerosene / phone charging services.


Thanks for the info!

So how do you guys handle the main hub/charging station partnership that you guys set up? Do you just have a local resident you trust to manage the shop all day to deal with the exchanges and recharging?

What kind of data do you have the Electron providing for you?

Jaza owns and operates the systems. We hire local women to manage the Hub, and have a core local team in each region that handles installation, maintenance, admin, training, etc.
The electron sends lots of data - system level data (currents, voltages, warning, etc.) as well as transaction data.