A Series Built on Heritage
While you may be familiar with our work in the outdoor recreation market, our work in emerging markets in Africa is where our portable power story begins. Today, close to half of the planet, still lacks access to modern energy to cook, charge, and light their lives beyond the grid. Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked intentionally to focus on the African market in parallel with the work we've done in the outdoor recreation to help families living beyond the grid in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia gain access to these essential technologies.
The Micro-Grid Revolution In Africa
The concept of a micro-grid, or a personal scale energy source, has been rapidly growing in popularity in the African market. BioLite’s experience developing these micro-grids through solar home lighting and entertainment systems brought over a decade of expertise into our newest line of portable power devices designed for off-grid power and home backup: the BaseCharge 600, BaseCharge 1500 and SolarPanel 100. Much like our solar home systems sold in the African market, the BaseCharge family was designed to provide hours of home-grade power for our most critical devices needed for daily life - especially when the traditional electrical grid is unreliable or unavailable. And pairing a BaseCharge with a high-watt SolarPanel means you can untether from the grid completely.
Becoming Big Battery Experts
The solar home systems used in the African market are large battery storage devices, in the hundreds of watt hours. Additionally, these geographies represent some of the hardest to reach, and the most durability and safety-valuing markets in the world. When solar home systems are installed in villages hundreds of miles away from the nearest major city and exposed to heat, dust and constant use, they must be reliable.
Designing battery systems for the African market means designing for essentiality. Our solar home systems provide the power needed to keep a phone charged, an essential tool in Africa due to the nature of mobile banking. Multi-room lighting enables the day to be extended, allowing students to further their education and working parents to have more productive hours in the day.
To date, we have reached over 5 million with our clean cooking and lighting products. People like Bendetta who first purchased our entry level SolarHome 620 system and recently upgraded to the SolarHome 5000 so she can power her television and stay more connected to her local news.
Bringing Big Power To The Outdoor Recreation Market
The Portable Power Series, including the BaseCharge 1500 and 600 and SolarPanel 100, signifies a first step into home-grade power for off-grid environments. The new offerings serve to address four specific areas:
Home and Emergency Back-Up - An increase in natural disasters and aging of power grids worldwide have led to blackouts occurring on more regular basis and a need for users to have portable power options they can count on.
Outdoor Recreation and Overlanding - An unforeseen effect of the Covid-19 pandemic was an increase in the number of people getting outside to recreate. Power stations like the BaseCharge Series provide the comforts of home when exploring the outdoors.
Remote Work and Productivity - Similar to the uptick in outdoor recreation, the pandemic pushed people to reconsider their work situations and routines. The transition of many people to remote work has created a need for energy availability to be connected and productive no matter the location.
Professional and DIY Work - Noisy, carbon-emitting generators are soon to become a thing of the past, as power stations like the BaseCharge 1500 offer surge ratings and energy longevity needed to get large jobs done. The lightweight design and ergonomic use of the stations allow contractors and skilled workers to bring the power they require to the exact spot needed to perform their work.