15th Jun 2021

Karuboxes – New Product Category for Optimizing Off-Grid Electricity

Karugrid launched the new Karubox products a while ago. Karuboxes are smart controllers for off-grid electricity surroundings. Karuboxes are currently integrated e.g. with the Afstor Solar Home and Cooker system.

Karuboxes are a new product category needed for optimizing the use of off-grid power systems. Such systems are characterized by a finite battery capacity and varying electricity production. Electricity consumption must be prioritized and optimized in a flexible and smart way. Important appliances include e.g. fridges that should remain cold in all circumstances.

Fair, flexible, and optimised electricity for communities

Equal and fair distribution of electricity is of utmost importance when several users are connected to the same solar-battery power system. Karuboxes take care of equally distributed and properly managed electricity through flexible real-time quotas. One user or household can only consume its own share of the stored energy. The members of the electricity community can be sure that the pre-defined electricity will be available for them. However, changes to pre-defined quotas can be introduced via local electricity marketplace: a user can sell or share their excess power to those running out of quota.

“We want more electricity”

As soon as electricity is introduced in a community, you can be sure that the demand will rise quickly. First comes the light, then the fan. It is also important to be able to charge the mobile phone. A refrigerator would be nice and cooking with a hot plate would make life so much easier. Quicker than you realize, the capacity of the off-grid system is reached and load control becomes a mandatory feature to keep the electricity experience at a high level.

Reliable multi-purpose data

Karuboxes keep track of electricity. They log the consumption patterns and automate reporting. The cloud-accessible graphs show the consumption growth to capacity at our reference site. The data serves multiple purposes, though: it can also be used for carbon offset calculations and compensation tracking.

Two models: Karubox M and Karubox S

Karubox M is a multifunction controller. It supports a range of auxiliary hardware such as 2-way energy meters, load control relays, circuit breakers and sensors for environment monitoring. It can connect to the Internet and the Karucloud using its mobile router (4G/3G/2G) or Wifi. The device can be remotely managed and updated. This allows adding and changing application software. Standard applications include an electricity usage policy (fair usage or marketplace) and carbon offset calculation. Third-party applications can be deployed, too. Karubox M acts as a Wifi access point for collecting data from nearby Karuboxes. The Wifi range is the only practical limit on how many Karuboxes can be connected.

Karubox S is a cost optimized controller performing a limited number of predefined tasks, e.g. measuring fingerprints for CO2 compensation of a solar cooker – or for doing simple load control. Karubox S comes with simple Wifi connectivity. It can automatically connect to a nearby Karubox M or an open Wifi for data transfer.

Karubox M is the optimal choice for controlling a multi-user off-grid system. It acts as master for a large number of solar cookers that are equipped with Karubox S devices. Moreover, it offers options for adding special software to be run on the controller platform.

Karubox S is the right choice when size and price matter more than flexibility and features. With a volume of 1,7 litres, Karubox S is one third of the size of Karubox M.

Want to hear more details? Send us a message using the contact form and we at Karugrid will get in touch with you!

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