Samsung recently unveiled its first Solar Powered Internet School in South Africa to help students in their studies without having to worry about electricity or Internet connectivity. The environmentally-friendly, transportable classroom is a perfect fit for Africa as it addresses one of the region’s biggest challenges – providing stable supply of electricity in rural areas.Despite differing views on the industry’s outlook, Samsung continues to believe solar energy can always be put to good use – not just generating electricity for residential or commercial utilization, but also for something really meaningful that can positively impact people’s lives.
A prime example of this is the use of solar power in education. Of course, solar-powered calculators, notebooks or other educational resources all contribute to improving the learning environment for young students. But what about an entire school or classroom that’s powered by solar energy? The 12-meter renovated container has solar panels installed on the roof that can generate nine hours of electricity a day, powering the electronic equipments inside the classroom. The classroom is equipped with a 50-inch electronic board, Internet-enabled solar-powered notebooks, Samsung’s Galaxy tablet computers as well as Wi-Fi cameras – all of which help enrich the learning experience. Up to 21 students can use the classroom, and the entire curriculums until grade 12 are stored in a central computer server enabling two-way learning by connecting to the Internet. The school can also be moved easily with a truck so that students in even the remotest of areas can continue their education.
The Solar Powered Internet School is just one of Samsung’s efforts to contribute to the local community with its innovative technologies and plans to expand these schools to other regions throughout Africa. Samsung last year identified solar as one of its new growth businesses, aiming to invest 6 trillion won ($5.4 billion) until 2020 to generate 10 trillion won in annual revenue by that year. Samsung SDI Co., which makes rechargeable batteries for mobile devices, is responsible for their solar business, currently has a capacity to produce 150 megawatts, with plans to increase production to 3 gigawatts by 2015.