Competition Requirements

Target customer

Solutions are expected to serve customers with the following characteristics and needs.

Primarily off-grid

Tier 0-1 energy access

Purchasing power
below $1.90 per day

Living in rural areas

Limited access to banking

<50% have bank accounts

Using smartphones

<40% have smartphones

Energy needs

Solutions must provide Tier 2 energy access (200+ watt hours per day), which includes:

Household uses

Household uses include: single house lighting, phone charging, telecommunication, entertainment, air circulation, refrigeration, water pumping, home cooling, smart cooking, electric two- and three-wheeler charging, etc.

Community uses

Community uses include: multiple home solutions for public lighting, water pumping & purification, education and health facilities, etc.

Productive uses

Productive uses include: agriculture processing, light manufacturing (sewing, pottery, weaving, carpentry), construction, food processing, commerce, new incoming opportunities, etc.

The following are the Six Competition Tracks

For more details please see the Competition Guidelines

Decentralized Model (Track D):

The proposed solution will serve single homes at Tier 2 or higher without creating an entire distribution infrastructure in advance of when it is needed. The solution should address the entire power generation, delivery, and management system.

Centralized Model (Track C):

The proposed solution is a centrally planned and implemented power generation and distribution model offering the core service at the community level. Individual families are served as customers from the centralized service. The solution should address the entire power generation, delivery, and management system.

Automation-centric solution (Track A):

The proposed solution is enabled by automation, with the underlying advantage of autonomous operations demonstrated via increased scale, resilience, simplicity, or a combination thereof.

Automation will play a critical role in enabling sophisticated solutions to be adopted at scale in communities with insufficient technical exposure and skilled support infrastructure for power generations. The IEEE Control Systems Society is supporting EBL-II in this round of competition to emphasize this automation track.

End-use Energy (Track P):

The proposed solution will address appliances that enable productive use of energy (including clean cooking). The solution can be aimed at a single user solution (e.g., solar water pumps for irrigation, refrigerators) or the community level (e.g. cold-storage rooms, agri-food processing hubs).

Enabling Technologies (Track E):

The proposed solution in this category does not address the entire energy system but enables solving some of the key challenges of energy access solutions such as scaling, affordability, sustainability, interoperability. The competing solution can be a component or sub-system as long the solution addresses the above challenges.

Student Teams (Track S):

This category is open only for teams composed of tertiary education institutions. The proposed solution in this category can be of the nature covered in the above five categories (decentralized model, centralized model, Automation-centric solution, end-use energy, and enabling technologies). The main difference with the other categories is in the requirements for field-testing — student teams are not required to demonstrate their solution in a target community. However, a student team is free to choose to compete in one of the other categories if they are able to comply with the field-testing requirements.

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