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Often, however, there is no electricity infrastructure either, making device charging problematic. BuffaloGrid solves this by providing solar charging hubs to communities, and sharing its profits.
Virgin Media Business recently selected BuffaloGrid as one of the winners of its Three New Things contest, which sought out new technologies with the potential to change the lives of those who use them. The three winners were selected by a panel of tech experts from around 100 entries, plus BuffaloGrid also came second in the People's Favorite vote.
The idea for BuffaloGrid came from founder Phil Schluter, who has spent 20 years as a coffee trader in Africa. Schluter saw the benefits that mobile phones were bringing the local communities, but also the difficulties in charging that people were having without access to power. The original idea was for a bicycle generator, but over three years it has evolved through an ongoing design and development process, and intensive field research.
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