A small, remote village in Ghana is being powered by a spaceship-like hub that provides water, electricity, and internet, all through energy from the sun. Fast Company reporter Adele Peters profiles the Watly, which runs entirely on solar power to bring services to 3,000 people living off the grid. While the system powers the city now, smaller systems could eventually be integrated into houses.
The system works as a water-purification device that can bring clean water to remote villages and make any source of water, including ocean water or even sewage, safe to drink through it's graphene-based technology. The hub also provides internet for anyone within an 800-meter radius, and also pairs the electricity production with the water-purification process for a more efficient system.
Countries can "leap-frog directly to the 'energynet' without passing though the construction of huge centralized infrastructures," Marco Attisani, founder of Watly, the Barcelona-based company that designed the hub. The "energynet" is what the company calls a network of Watlys: a system that combines electricity and water with information technology.
"Watly is today and infrastructural solution that has the shapes and design of a vending machine, but tomorrow will be a building," he says. "So you do not need to build and infrastructure empowering dumb and efficient houses, you build from scratch smart and advanced houses that have generate their own electricity, manage their clean water as well as their sewage. They will be computers where we live in."