Discover the Solar Container Classroom

Aleutia Founder Mike Rosenberg talking about the Solar Container Classroom at the 2014 Global Education and Skills Forum

Read the Fast Company article or visit our press page to see more coverage

Read the Safaricom case study on the largest CSR rollout in Kenya

Problem & Solution

Current challenges for installing solar power systems

Unsuitable existing infrastructure

  • Roofs need to be reinforced, the angle is wrong or a tree might be in the way

Retrofitting is complicated and expensive

  • High transportation costs

  • Material costs

Solar is difficult to install

  • 30% efficiency loss on panels

  • Angle of the panels must be correct

  • Batteries need ventilation, cooling and maintenance

  • Cabling is expensive

Standard containers used by Samsung and DELL are narrow – making it difficult to manage a classroom in 2.5 meters. These standard containers are made in South Korea or the UK and cost $95k+.

Aleutia’s solution

Keeping the container model, which is easy to transport, Aleutia has reinvented the container classroom:

Retrofitting buildings with solar is expensive and time consuming – the roof might face the wrong direction or not be strong enough or a tree might be in the way – site surveys must always be done in advance, making it hard to scale.

Even if the roof can support the panels, a frame must be welded on-site requiring a generator (and pickup truck to transport it) to be rented, something Aleutia discovered when building a solar classroom for the Rubiri Primary School in Kenya in 2011:

Our solution is different and scalable

Building capacity, reducing cost

  • Made locally from Aleutia blueprints, building capacity
  • Created through modifying a shipping container or using sheet steel and MDF (locally sourced) so that no “portakabin panels” have to be imported from Asia
  • Built so that local handymen can complete the project within 48 hours

Expanding the standard container

  • Dropping the walls, doubled floor space
  • Teachers have more space to circulate and can provide 1:1 support
  • Removing the roof and replacing it with low cost steel pipes, allows for better ventilation
  • Solar panels pre mounted at the optimal angle
  • Whiteboards can be mounted
  • Projector positioning can be managed

Eco design

  • Container is insulated by outer wall of bambo

Building on what we know

In 2014, after delivering hundreds of 'Classroom in a Box' solutions across Africa, Aleutia won a tender with local Kenyan reseller Stonehouse to provide the largest Solar ICT classroom rollout in the country's history. Funded by the foundation arm of Safaricom, the largest communications provider in Kenya, Aleutia delivered one solar container classroom per county.

The Safaricom project is enabling tens of thousands of children to gain powerful access to ICT. For many of them, this will be their first ever experience with a computer. 
Solar Installation Dadaab - a Classroom in 48 hours.JPG
Solar Classroom Construction Dadaab Kenya - World's Largest Refugee Camp.JPG
Kiambu Container Classroom photo Mike Rosenberg.JPG
Kenya Prefab Classroom Interior 2 Dedaab Kenya photo Martin Muckle.JPG