News — 01 February 2018
Living off the grid

An Italian start-up company has launched the ‘Off Grid Box’ which is designed to bring clean water and renewable energy to millions of people who live without these basic essentials. It’s a simple container measuring 2 x 2 metres with solar panels on top and a unique water treatment system inside. It is meant to change the lives of remote communities with both off-grid energy and easily accessible filtered water. The ‘Box’ has a five stage micro-filtration tank that takes in dirty water and makes it odourless, transparent, free of bacteria and safely drinkable. Its solar panels produce enough electricity to charge 300 battery packs.

This invention was selected for the Mass Challenge accelerator program of Boston (US) – an organization that helps start-ups to successfully launch, grow, and create positive impact. Thanks to this award, founder and CEO Emiliano Cecchini says that he has a new business model to bring the Box to more people. This plan includes installing the Boxes and charging just a few centimos a day to people who want to access clean water and clean power. He calls it a “pay-as-you-go micro-payments system for local contractors and local empowerment.” Many of these units have already been sent to people who need them most in Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda and Colombia while others have been shipped to people who simply want to live off the grid. By 2020 Cecchini hopes to be serving over 500,000 customers and future plans include adding WiFi connectivity to the Boxes.


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