ZOLA Electric has announced the launch of its new technology solution, FLEX MAX. ZOLA says that it will be the largest off-grid solar home solution (SHS) – including the largest battery and solar panel technology – available on the global market.
The launch expands ZOLA’s network architecture by introducing a product that serves customers living at the convergence of off-grid and on-grid. FLEX MAX serves homeowners looking to power AC appliances such as refrigeration alongside lights, connectivity, TV, and businesses looking to power productive use products. It fits in ZOLA’s network of hardware solutions and, like all ZOLA’s products, is installed, commissioned, optimised and managed through Vision, ZOLA’s network management software platform.
FLEX MAX builds upon ZOLA’s distributed energy enterprise platform, technology aiming to deliver community-level electrification to the 3 billion people living without affordable, reliable energy. It is an evolution of ZOLA’s plug-and-play solar and storage hybrid power system FLEX, designed for entry-level off-grid basic home appliance usage. In addition to lighting, a TV, and fan, FLEX MAX’s increased capacity can further power high efficiency AC and DC refrigerators in residential settings, so customers can better store food and minimise spoilage, and extends its application from the domestic to offices and hospitals.
FLEX MAX provides ‘electrical infrastructure in a box’ for customers with no existing connection or those with an unreliable grid connection and not much roof space. Able to charge from both solar and the grid, FLEX MAX is a step up from previous generations, allowing ZOLA to serve both rural communities and the ‘peri-urban’ market. The core value of FLEX MAX is its larger, modular battery and flexibility to leverage both high efficiency appliances that come with AC as well as infrastructure’s DC systems, so more customers can use existing appliances while benefiting from the versatility of ZOLA’s DC ecosystem.
A key additional feature of FLEX MAX is the integration of new revenue models that will improve the capacity of ZOLA’s distributor partners to offer financing solutions to their customers. The incorporation of new hardware and software features will facilitate new financing mechanisms, such as pay-as-you-go models that support the remote control of customer networks and allow the system to be locked in the case of non-payment. Crucially, this addresses the lack of traditional energy financing mechanisms in the developing world, combatting the affordability issue for end-users, while also supporting distribution partners.
Bill Lenihan, Chief Executive Officer of ZOLA Electric, says, “We are thrilled to be adding FLEX MAX to ZOLA’s market-leading Enterprise technology platform, delivering distributed, clean, digital energy solutions to those that need it most. FLEX MAX offer significant hardware and software improvements and the most advanced battery technology that will be a game-changer in improving the reliability of energy systems in emerging markets.
“Through our valuable partnerships with local integrators and distributors, our solutions are installed in homes, businesses, schools and hospitals in 10 countries across four continents, serving over two million customers. ZOLA’s platform of hybrid battery and storage solutions, monitored and managed by VISION, is the world’s first fully integrated, modular and intelligent platform purpose built for the Energy Access sector.”
ZOLA’s B2B model delivers clean, reliable and affordable energy to emerging markets globally, distributed through leading integrators in local markets including EDF, Shell, Econet/DPA and to emerging DRE (distributed renewable energy) integrators like Blue Camel in Nigeria. Its B2B model enables its integrator partners in local markets to efficiently build and manage networks that deliver community-level electrification to deliver Energy Access where it is needed most.