Solar Protocol

A naturally intelligent network.

This website is hosted across a network of solar powered servers and is sent to you from whichever server is in the most sunshine.

Presently you are on a server called Solar-Power for Hackers that is located in Kiambu Road, Nairobi, Kenya.

Server Battery:
100.0%
SERVER INFORMATION
PLACE
City: Nairobi
Country: Kenya
Local time: 09:26 AM
Weather: n/a
Temp: n/a ° C
Feels like: n/a ° C
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset: n/a
ENERGY
Last update: 09:26 AM in TZ n/a
Battery Level: 100.0%
Battery Voltage: 14.33 volts
PV Power: 27.37 watts
PV Voltage: 18.52 volts
PV Current: 1.47 amps
Load Power: 1.57 watts
Load Voltage: 14.33 volts
Load Current: 0.11 amps

System Documentation

Hardware: What is a solar server?

Each solar server is composed of two main components: a 50W photovoltaic panel (PV) for harnessing the sun and a weatherized enclosure containing all the server equipment. The hardware inside the enclosure includes an MPPT charge controller that translates the power of the sun into electrical charge for the 12V battery which, when successfully charged, wakes up and brings online the RaspberryPi single-board computer hosting the local web content. The hardware also includes in-line fuses and in-line circuit breakers to protect each component of the circuit, and the NEMA-rated enclosure is retrofitted with rugged vents and glands to withstand a wide range of temperatures and different kinds of environments.

Software

The networking and the network API is built with PHP. Each RaspberryPi generates this website using Jinja templating. We are running Apache servers.

We decided not to use any Javascript on the frontend of this website and so all of our visualizations are generated server-side using python libraries such as MatPlotLib. Where possible, the generation of the visual assets on this site are done on the server rather than in the browser. We adopted this as an approach that fosters accountability for our design decisions. We know that the computational cycles required to generate our imagery are powered by solar energy rather than potentially powered as fossil energy in the browser. This design approach also minimizes the energy consumption for the user.