Created by Tusubira and his team mates, the system gives solar companies more than just data about their customers’ energy use. Remot also examines the system itself for inefficiencies and potential problems.
Battery health, for example, is crucial to PV installations but, despite manufacturers’ guarantees, they fail without warning. Remot monitors battery health to give solar companies more control over the lifespan of their installations, and help prevent power outages.
Manufactured on site at their offices in Kampala, the hardware device is nicknamed ‘Davix’ after the co-founder. Tusubira met his colleagues in school before they studied together at Makerere University. They then started a business training and re-selling electronics to engineering students, but the team repeatedly came across challenges in solar energy – complex systems, mismanagement and corruption, and a lack of monitoring and evaluation.
Four years on, Remot runs in nearly 500 schools, 11 solar maize mills, and solar water pumps on office blocks in the DRC, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with samples in use in Ethiopia. The team helps solar companies, energy consultants and energy donors – common in East Africa – run pay-as-you-go systems. These help justify investment, by showing usage patterns, and also help plan future installations by evaluating older ones.