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Solar-Powered Wi-Fi

As solar power becomes more affordable to deploy at both the consumer and enterprise level, Wi-Fi monitoring systems are key in maximizing its efficiency. At the other end of the spectrum (so to speak), solar-powered access points enable WLANs to be deployed in poor, rural, or rugged areas, bringing Wi-Fi to new, previously inaccessible locations. Collected here are Wi-FiPlanet's best stories on this emerging trend.

Green Wi-Fi's Solar Samaritans. Off-duty engineers find low-cost ways to make the sun power Wi-Fi in remote locations. By Amy Mayer. January 31, 2008.

Wi-Fi, Philanthropy, and Solar Power. Wi-Fi plays a crucial philanthropic and educational role as Burning Man artists and organizers donate what could amount to millions of dollars in free electricity to schools and a hospital in Nevada. By Amy Mayer. January 14, 2008.

Going Green. The Ferreira Construction building in Branchburg, NJ has the distinction of being the first “Net Zero Electric” commercial building in the United States. The 42,000 square foot “smart” building is the workplace for 100 people, and generates more energy from a renewable source than it consumes—thus making it “net zero electric.” By Naomi Graychase. November 9, 2007

Here Comes the Sun. From remote villages to train yards and vineyards, solar power shines in Wi-Fi deployments. By Amy Mayer. November 26, 2007.

Cheers to Wi-Fi. Some vineyards are employing solar-powered sensors to monitor their grapes. By Lisa Phifer. November 15, 2007.

Meraki’s Outdoor Upgrade. Meraki Networks, the San Francisco-based company making mesh products suitable for homes and entire communities, has had an outdoor product in beta testing for a while. Today, they announced the refined version of that product, which they call a weatherproof outdoor repeater, which can come with a whole new way to get power. By Eric Griffith. June 4, 2007.

 Grape Networks Turns Wi-Fi Into Wine. Grape Networks, a Northern California-based company founded in 2002, is using wireless mesh to improve both the yield and quality of grapes for vineyards, while also decreasing costs and reducing the use of pesticides. The company's Wireless Mesh Sensor Networks (WMSN) start with tiny battery-powered or solar-powered nodes, which are programmed to detect humidity, temperature, soil moisture, light, metals and chemicals, among other things.By Naomi Graychase. March 23, 2007.

Only You (and Wi-Fi) Can Prevent Forest Fires. Solar-powered access points help detect forest fires before they can spread. By Naomi Graychase.October 31, 2007. 

Bangladesh City Unwires with Sun-Powered Mesh. The port city of Chittagong is known as the commercial capital of the underdeveloped South Asian country of Bangladesh. And it is on the road to wireless. By Eric Griffith. February 22, 2006.

Boulder Gets Solar-Powered Wi-Fi. 18 months after the company formed around co-founder Ben Adams’s concept for solar-powered Wi-Fi networks, Lumin deployed its first access points at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. By Naomi Graychase. August 8, 2005.

Proxim, Hutton Ship Solar-Powered Wireless Camera. This high-end surveillance tool combines Proxim's long-range Wi-Fi solution with solar panels, backup batteries, directional antennas, and digital video. By Eric Griffith. August 27, 2003.

Wireless Mt. Washington. The winter weather at the top of Mount Washington, the highest peak in New Hampshire and in the whole northeast United States, is, in a word, foul. If Wi-Fi can work here, it stands to reason, it can work just about anywhere. By Gerry Blackwell.  May 30, 2003

Waikato Wireless. Frustrated by poor Internet access in regional areas, a NZ project is developing a wireless, last mile alternative. By Craig Liddell. August 16, 2002


Stories compiled by Naomi Graychase. Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.