solar lab video
In many areas around the world, the lack of reliable, affordable electricity is one of the biggest barriers to providing technology to students. Some schools cannot keep the lights on and power a computer classroom simultaneously.

At Dell we believe education is a human right and that technology can have a dramatic impact on a child’s lifelong success, so we strive to find innovative ways of expanding access to technology-enabled learning environments, especially in remote regions with extremely limited facilities and connectivity.
Solar powered classroom
One of the ways we’re doing just that is by taking electricity out of the equation. We are combining a more constant energy source — the sun — with energy-efficient Dell Wyse thin clients to develop solar-powered classrooms, which we call Learning Labs. The goal? Deliver sustainable and affordable connectivity to underserved communities and schools.

Since 2013, we have installed 18 labs across S. Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Colombia and Mexico, providing technology access to over 7,500 students and their communities. Our Learning Labs are built in converted, well-ventilated shipping containers equipped with solar panels and Dell technology. It only takes six solar panels to power a lab with 10 Dell Wyse thin client workstations for an entire day, and well into the evening. The highly efficient thin clients use only seven watts of energy, compared to 180 watts for traditional PCs. The new labs have also been built with fresh air-cooled servers, a better solution for hotter climates.

Research shows technology and devices in the classroom not only helps students learn more, and more efficiently. “Learning Labs close the educational divide in areas where you are suffering not only from poverty, but also from lack of access to energy,” says Ahmed Houcine Faik, EMEA Strategic Giving Manager at DELL.

In 2018, Dell launched its first solar lab in Mexico, with a new design. It is our Learning Lab that will have an additional container to house robotic workshops hosted by Robotix, a leading robotics education organization with operations in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and the United States. This lab will be located at Colonia Reforma in the State of Mexico, near Mexico City.

Dell solar-powered Learning Labs are made possible by Dell’s Youth Learning program, which seeks to close the learning gap by partnering directly with non-profits to provide innovative technology solutions, charitable donations and expertise to address challenges faced by underprivileged youth around the world where Dell operates. Our goal, as part of Dell’s 2020 Legacy of Good Plan, is to help 4 million youth directly, and support 12 million people indirectly, to grow and thrive by 2020.

storysphereGet a rare look inside one of these Solar Powered Learning Labs in S. Africa by viewing the Storysphere to the left. Click on the musical note icons to hear exclusive interviews with the students and others who use the lab every day.

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