Download as PDF
Digi > Case Studies > New Sun Road Connects Uganda to Clean and Reliable Energy
Digi Logo

New Sun Road Connects Uganda to Clean and Reliable Energy

Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Real Time Analytics
  • Functional Applications - Remote Monitoring & Control Systems
  • Networks & Connectivity - Cellular
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Device Management Platforms
  • Sensors - Temperature Sensors
Applicable Industries
  • Renewable Energy
Applicable Functions
  • Business Operation
Use Cases
  • Energy Management System
The Challenge
New Sun Road is a registered California Benefit Corporation committed to implementing solutions to climate change and global energy poverty. This group of talented engineers is partnering with Ugandan green energy startup GRS Commodities to deliver reliable and clean power to the Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria, Uganda. The goal of the pilot system is to provide affordable and reliable solar powered electricity to businesses on Kitobo Island. Although no small feat, deploying the solar power grids is likely the simplest part of the solution. Solar was the obvious choice for the power source because it is economical and relatively simple to deploy. The primary difficulty lies in managing the energy grid and ensuring proper maintenance without having to be on-site at every location. The capability to remotely monitor the grid will enable New Sun Road to expand their service across the Ssese Islands in a more efficient manner since each grid can be monitored from one central location. But, in remote areas, where communication options are limited, how do you remotely monitor and manage a smart solar power grid? Without a local ISP, this can be a complex challenge, so the team decided to enable remote connectivity over the global cellular network. In addition to communication challenges, another major difficulty New Sun Road had to overcome was finding a device capable of withstanding the high temperatures within their network hubs. The device would be residing within a NEMA enclosure in direct sunlight, so the capability to function under extremely high temperatures was a must.
About The Customer
New Sun Road is a registered California Benefit Corporation committed to implementing solutions to climate change and global energy poverty. They bring expertise in finance, engineering, economics, and conservation to partnerships with local operations in
The Customer
New Sun Road
The Solution
New Sun Road chose the Digi TransPort WR11 XT to enable a connection to the available 3G HSPA+ network, which would allow for remote monitoring of the grid. The WR11 XT provides a reliable connection to the global 3G network while withstanding high operating temperatures of the network utility hub.

The New Sun Road team needed to ensure that they could effectively manage the grids remotely, should power go down or any other issue that could interrupt service to their customers. Using Digi Remote Manager, their operations team can easily push out new device configurations, firmware updates, and remotely diagnose and fix any issues in the network. The cloud management platform also makes it possible to monitor device temperature and alert the team if a device is starting to reach a user-defined temperature threshold as well as any other changes in device-state that they choose to actively monitor.

A unique piece to the New Sun Road solution is the custom software application developed by the company to provide real-time analytics and remote control for both the solar generation system and the end users’ electricity usage. The analytics engine allows the team to anticipate problems before they happen, ensure correct maintenance, understand user needs, and continuously optimize the system.
Operational Impact
  • [Efficiency Improvement - Energy]
    First ever provision of 24/7 metered electricity service, powered entirely by solar, on Kitobo Island.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Thirty four businesses and residential customers are now receiving power and making regular electricity payments, saving on average 50 percent of their energy costs by switching to the solar microgrid compared to diesel generators.

Related Case Studies.

Contact us

Let's talk!

* Required
* Required
* Invalid email address
Yes, i want to receive the IoT ONE Insights - Newsletter.
Go to Action

Thank you for your message!
We will contact you soon.