A demonstration project featuring the LifeVillage is planned for installation in Cote dÂ’Ivoire, on the west coast of Africa.
The LifeVillage concept includes Envision SolarÂ’s LifePort and LifePod modular steel-frame structures that include solar panels that provide between 1.5 and 4 kW of electricity, and also includes energy storage in the form of batteries to provide electricity outside of the hours when the sun is shining. Finally, the LifeVillage includes a self-contained water treatment unit that will capture and reuse water. The LifeVillage can be shipped in two shipping containers for assembly on-site.
LifeVillage creators Robert Noble, AIA, LEED AP, and William Adelson, AIA, are sustainable architects based in La Jolla, California, who founded Envision Solar to create architectural solutions to facilitate the use of clean energy.
Â“We were captivated by what occurred in Africa with the telecommunications industry,Â” notes Adelson. Â“With the use of mobile telephones, the system is highly decentralized; effectively, satellite technology evolved more quickly than did the ability to install infrastructure in Africa.Â” Noble adds, Â“The LifePort and LifePod products were always intended to be enabling technologies for photovoltaics and other clean technology. The LifeVillage, by including energy storage and water treatment, adds utility for an off-grid solution for remote areas without access to traditional infrastructure.Â”
Â“The LifeVillage structures can be used to create medical clinics, schools, housing for doctors and teachers, cell, mobile telephone, radio, TV, WiFi, and WiMax facilities and transmission. The combination of international building code engineered buildings, solar energy generation and battery storage provides all that is needed to improve health, safety, education, economics and general quality of life around every project or team has planned,Â” Noble says.
Each structure can be assembled and activated within two weeks of its arrival at the site. Â“The goal is to plant LifeVillages anywhere decentralized critical infrastructure is needed, starting in Western and Central Africa,Â” comments Noble. Adelson adds, Â“We hope that the LifeVillage product will provide renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure for growth and advancement of underdeveloped areas.Â”
For the demonstration project in Cote dÂ’Ivoire, Envision Solar partnered with ZBB Energy Corporation, a Wisconsin-based energy storage innovator. ZBB will provide their long-lasting ZESS-50TM zinc energy storage system. Other potential partners include Nucon Steel for the structure framing, Kyocera for the solar panels, McElroy Roofing for the standing seam metal roof and Worldwater & Solar Technologies for the water purification and pumping components.
The demonstration project will provide critical community buildings, powered by solar energy with battery support, and with a self-contained water treatment system to allow occupants to recycle and reuse water. A prototype will be constructed in the United States and tested prior to deployment at one hundred villages in Cote dÂ’Ivoire.
The Cote dÂ’Ivoire project, at the specific request of the countryÂ’s Ministry of Energy, will incorporate a small medical clinic and a schoolhouse, including the housing for a resident doctor or nurse and the housing for a resident teacher. Envision Solar is partnering with Scripps Health and Hospitals of San Diego for the implementation of the clinic and its components.