What this is about

Renewable energy

Energy sharing

Blockchain




The Simba Energy Box

According to the International Energy Agency Energy Access Outlook,2016, about 1.1 billion people worldwide, lack access to electricity and about 95% of these people are in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Moreover the electricity needs of many people who have access to electricity in these regions are not met at all, because of unreliable on grid energy supplies.Access to electricity is very vital in promoting socio economic development and impacts very largely on many different economy sectors, especially in African countries. Thus new smart energy supplying solutions must be explored to combat this challenge. The aim of this project is to address the energy need by harnessing the abundant solar photo voltaic (PV) energy from the sun by developing a compact solar (PV) energy absorbing unit called the Simba Energy Box.The Simba Energy Box is a solar energy based intelligent system that consists of a solar panel, DC/AC inverter, battery and controllers. The main idea is to allow the Simba Energy Box units to be able to communicate and to do electrical energy transactions (sharing) over a blockchain architecture.

The Simba Energy Box development approach has four main layers.

Sensing Layer

The sensing layer has sensors which reads various electrical parameters from the solar panel, battery and inverter and then transfers the data to a computer Raspberry Pi for analysis.The informtaion is then passed to the networking layer.

Networking Layer

The networking layer plays two main roles of interconnecting the Simba Energy Box units in a given community and is also responsible for connecting with the various systems which are in the middleware layer.

Middleware Layer

The middleware layer contains the databases, cloud and more importantly this is the layer in which blockchain will be implemented, the implementation however also overlaps into the networking layer.Blockchain will be used mainly for security, identification, access management and authentication.

Application Layer

The application layer consists of user devices which will be using the accompanying mobile software and web application.The applications will enable users to control transactions and view the Simba Energy Box system status remotely



Main Components



Blockchain

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that makes it possible to create a tamper-proof digital ledger of transactions and share them.This will be implemented over the IBM Watson IoT platform.The platform allows us the developers to add selected IoT data to private blockchain ledges that can be included in shared transactions.The platform filters device events and sends only the data that is required to satisfy the contract

Simulation of sensors

Various electrical parameters measuring instruments such as ammeters and voltmeters will be used to measure electrical parameters.However in the initial stages of the development of the Simba Energy Box system,a Matlab simulation program will be used to generate these parameters on each unit.Parameters such as voltage, current, angle of incidence of the sun rays, temperature and cloud cover will be simulated.