Green Wi-Fi wants to use solar power as a hook to push networks into developing nations: The nonprofit wants to develop units that will combine solar for charging with a battery for off-peak hours. Seed money has come from One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), which I keep thinking puts technology before applications. The challenge is not just that billions of people live without any or reliable electricity in their areas, but also that weather conditions could produce long periods of weak sunlight.
The less power that's trickling in, the more that the system intelligently cuts off users, uses, and periods of use to leave a window of availability. The first test was 28 days of straight rain in San Francisco without a hitch in continuous operations. Their first test will be in India through a Canadian aid organization's interest.
Podcast questions: I'll be talking to Green Wi-Fi in a podcast interview next week. Do you have questions for them? Send them on in.
Another non-profit that sounds a bit like this is Inveneo (http://www.inveneo.org). They're putting sustainable wireless solutions in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa, and have recently been profiled in Time, on CNN, and more.
And to answer the concern of a lack of sunlight? Bicycle-powered generators that yield 45 minutes of online/connected (read: VoIP) time from 15 minutes of pedaling. Sounds pretty sweet, from what Ive heard...