ZOLA Electric, the Enterprise technology company delivering Energy Access to emerging markets, has launched, FLEX MAX, touted as its largest off-grid solar home solution (SHS) – including the largest battery and solar panel technology – available on the global market.
The launch expands ZOLA’s network architecture by introducing a product that elegantly serves customers living at the convergence of off-grid and on-grid. FLEX MAX serves homeowners looking to power AC appliances such as refrigeration alongside lights, connectivity, TV, and businesses looking to power productive use products. It fits seamlessly in ZOLA’s network of hardware solutions and, like all ZOLA’s products, is installed, commissioned, optimized and managed through Vision, ZOLA’s network management software platform.
FLEX MAX builds upon ZOLA’s leading distributed energy enterprise platform, the world’s only technology aiming to deliver community-level electrification to the 3 billion people living without affordable, reliable energy. It is an evolution of ZOLA’s plug-and-play solar and storage hybrid power system FLEX, designed for entry-level off-grid basic home appliance usage. In addition to lighting, a TV, and fan, FLEX MAX’s increased capacity can further power high efficiency AC and DC refrigerators in residential settings, so customers can better store food and minimize spoilage, and extends its application from the domestic to offices and hospitals.
FLEX MAX provides ‘electrical infrastructure in a box’ for customers with no existing connection or those with a weak / unreliable grid connection and not much roof space. Able to charge from both solar and the grid, FLEX MAX is a step up from previous generations, allowing ZOLA to serve both rural communities and the ‘peri-urban’ market. The core value of FLEX MAX is its larger, modular battery and flexibility to leverage both high-efficiency appliances that come with AC as well as infrastructure’s DC systems, so more customers can use existing appliances while benefiting from the versatility of ZOLA’s DC ecosystem.
A key additional feature of FLEX MAX is the integration of new revenue models that will improve the capacity of ZOLA’s distributor partners to offer financing solutions to their customers. The incorporation of new hardware and software features will facilitate new financing mechanisms, such as pay-as-you-go models that support remote control of customer networks and allow the system to be locked in the case of non-payment. Crucially, this addresses the lack of traditional energy financing mechanisms in the developing world, combatting the affordability issue for end-users, while also supporting distribution partners.
Bill Lenihan, Chief Executive Officer of ZOLA Electric, said:
“We are thrilled to be adding FLEX MAX to ZOLA’s market-leading Enterprise technology platform, delivering distributed, clean, digital energy solutions to those that need it most. FLEX MAX offer significant hardware and software improvements and the most advanced battery technology that will be a game-changer in improving the reliability of energy systems in emerging markets.
“Through our valuable partnerships with local integrators and distributors, our solutions are installed in homes, businesses, schools and hospitals in 10 countries across four continents, serving over two million customers. ZOLA’s platform of hybrid battery and storage solutions, monitored and managed by VISION, is the world’s first fully integrated, modular and intelligent platform purpose built for the Energy Access sector.”
ZOLA’s B2B model delivers clean, reliable and affordable energy to emerging markets globally, distributed through leading integrators in local markets including EDF, Shell, Econet/DPA and to emerging DRE (distributed renewable energy) integrators like Blue Camel in Nigeria. Its B2B model enables its integrator partners in local markets to efficiently build and manage networks that deliver community-level electrification to deliver Energy Access where it is needed most.
Doye Ogionwo, Chief Commercial Officer of ZOLA Electric, said:
“The launch of FLEX MAX is very exciting and a huge innovation milestone for Energy Access. We are excited for the new possibilities and productivity we are enabling for our B2B distribution partners across the globe, whose partnership is invaluable as we work together to drive forward the energy transition.
“We invite all with an impact-driven focus on powering the world to join us on our journey – as we continue to strengthen the reach of our impact and technology.”
ZOLA’s recent notable milestones include the launch of the world’s first distributed mini-grid in Rwanda, in partnership with META (formerly Facebook), the Shell Foundation, USAID, and Endev, and its market entry into Haiti in partnership with Haiti Green Solutions, providing energy access and relief amidst the country’s dire energy crisis.
In many emerging markets, the lack of reliable primary power results in the installation of millions of back-up solutions (diesel generators, lead acid batteries) that are poorly integrated, difficult to manage, unreliable, costly, dirty, and lack intelligence. As a result, socio-economic development, healthcare and education is severely hindered. ZOLA’s objective is to drive energy access to the three billion people and hundreds of millions of businesses globally that currently lack it.