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Brief Published: 29 Oct 2012

Samsung’s Solar-Powered School


Korean electronics company Samsung is angling to tackle the education system in Africa with a prototype for a mobile, fully solar-powered school. Currently being trialled in the rural area of Phomolong, South Africa, the classroom is designed to provide local youth with access to modern technology and the internet.

Made out of just one 12-metre shipping container (a factor that makes it easily transportable to even the most remote areas of the country), the classroom is powered by fold-away rubber photovoltaic solar panels located on the roof. They provide energy for laptops, a 50-inch electronic blackboard and wi-fi video cameras. Built to accommodate 21 students and a teacher, it also boasts a built-in ventilation system and an energy-efficient fridge, and the current design can generate approximately nine hours’ electricity a day.

Samsung is also planning to send the classroom, or a version of it, to Qunu – a similarly small rural village on the Eastern Cape of South Africa – for further trials. 

For more on energy-efficient buildings and sustainable architecture, see the reports Self-Powering Architecture and New Look Sustainability.