Solar Social Enterprise
For hydroponics to become sustainable, a free source of power and heat is required outside the grid. My Grow Cube can deliver this.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Solar Speedflex Co Ltd
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Secondary Focus Area
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Hangzhou and Shenzhen
Location(s) of impact
Country 1 Sth Africa
Country 2 Senegal
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
The problem with thousands of rural communities across Africa and India, is the limited or no electricity availability to set up a hydroponics food/plant growing facility
My developed PVT hybrid system, can provide 80% of the heat and power needed to maintain the growth of plants within a hydroponics facilty where soil and water is no longer the main concern in growing plants and food all year round
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
The global expansion in growing food through a hydroponics system even if within a greenhouse or polytunnel, still requires heat in periods of cold weather, electricity for cooling during hot weather and lighting to replace sunlight to keep plants growing through darkness outside.
Growing food is moving from greenhouses to windowless buildings to tunnels underground, but for this to be viable, heat and power is required.
The filtering of the water needs 28c for plants to increase root growth, to this we use a PV + Thermal hybrid solar panel PVT. For the pumps to work, the PV with battery storage provides the electricity with a back up genarator or a wind turbine.
To provide the plants with the sunlight 16 hrs a day, LED grow lights are installed, also requiring a renewable electricity resource.
Yes, there is a higher up from cost for this equipment, but the heat and power is free
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
As yet my sungrow cube/PVT system has yet to be reconised as a benifit to rural farmers, becouse most investors want guranteed returns.
One part of the system has been a great success in Sth Africa, that of the hot water storage tanks produced as flat pack for assembly on site.
Including an offgrid power and heat genaration system, useing a PVT hybrid solar panel with hot water and battery storage provides a sustainable food production with lower costs that can genarate higher profits to compete with the volume growers who pay for the heat and power needed to grow plants and food all year round
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
I have funded all the devlopment costs, commited 25 yrs of my life to off grid solar water heating and recently off grid power solutions.
I have yet to attract any other funding to see this concept up and running and doing good in this world of mass food production that uses billions of galls of water, electricity for HP sodium lighting and oil for heating, all adding to the end cost of food.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
The key innovation is to provide food production from a renewable energy resource
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
Born into a farming community in East of England in 1947, with my first job as a Chef which lasted for 12 yrs, followed by a period of being the owner of a greengrocer business, which followed by 25 yrs in renewable energy and growing my own vegtables and fruit in my very small garden in Dorset, UK.
It made sence to me to bring together all these experiances and skills to develop a way to grow food without a greehouse but use renewable energy hybrids to maintain the growing period all year round
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?