SUNSMART: Green Innovation Beyond Solar

The ongoing pandemic and recent natural disasters bring challenges to many businesses, limiting their operations and shelving projects here and there. But for leading solar technology solutions provider SUNSMART, these serve as an opportunity to grow their brand, reach out to more Filipinos in underserved areas, and prove that now more than ever, green innovation is vital for better communities. 

President Jenny Lin Maaño-Ngai says that the recent crisis taught people to be prepared and ready for the future. “With the lengthy lockdowns, continued quarantines, the fear that COVID-19 brings, and the sudden change of adaptation to go virtual, the people now seems to understand more the need of “Being Ready” not just in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having a hygienic habit,” she says. “It also means one should be prepared when it comes to other primary essentials such as food, water, communications, and now even connectivity which are all meaningless without power.”

SUNSMART’s tagline, “Be Ready, Be SunSmart,” is a timely and relevant reminder and has earned a huge recall to many who need solar power system technology in rural and far-flung areas that either serves as their main source of free clean electricity or as a back-up power device. 

The solutions provider, which banks on Integrated Solar Power System Technology as their essential selling point, provides Filipinos in underserved areas access to smart, scalable, decentralized, and portable energy supply since its establishment.

Powering communities

For years, SUNSMART has partnered with various entities, including local government agencies, to power up off-grid areas and bring their innovative products.

During the lockdown, SUNSMART actively participated with government energy efficiency project developments with LGUs and significantly with renewable rural electrification development with the electric cooperatives.

“It is our vision, in line with our mission to build, operate and transfer solar distributed generation facilities with our local electric cooperatives to which our solar power systems will act as their independent, decentralized, scalable and own source of cleaner, cheaper and continuous power supply,” Maaño-Ngai explains.

According to her, this will instantaneously resolve the need of providing an immediate source of power supply in the unserved and underserved communities especially those from sitios who cannot have access to power from the main grid especially during typhoon seasons where electricity is limited.

Maaño-Ngai, who is also a beauty queen-turned entrepreneur and solar power advocate, shares that all these are in line with SUNSMART’s dedication to help fight climate change. 

Beyond Solar

Pre-pandemic, SUNSMART’s flagship campaign is about powering off-grid communities.

But while providing clean energy is an integral part of being ready for the future of communities, SUNSMART believes that it needed to take a step further.

This is where the solutions provider brings in an all-in-one innovation specifically designed to not only power communities but to contribute to its overall and upgraded living standards.

With its direct-to-manufacturer platform and continuous research and development initiatives for green innovation, the company upscale its small portable solar power devices and turn them to multitasking, hybrid, decentralized, scalable, portable/mobile, and co-generating solutions.

From simply smart and medium containerized solar power that has water and charging station, their products have gone to now large-scale capacity and hybrid solar power stations.

“All these features rolled into one made our integrated solar power system technology perform and serve cleaner, cheaper and continuous energy supply, BEYOND SOLAR,” Maaño-Ngai adds.

On the other hand, SUNSMART CEO Mr. William Che Hon Ngai explains that aside from the Solar PV and Energy Storage System Integration Development they integrated to their systems, they also embedded A.I. or Artificial Intelligence such as SCADA Security Control and Data Acquisition, EMS or Energy Management Systems, Smart Metering, Irradiance, and Weather Monitoring and Forecasting, and many other salient features that make their solutions self-serving, sustaining and resilient on its own.

Indeed, Che Hon Ngai underscores that more than just a system, providing solar power now serves as an efficient solution for the basic needs of communities in far-flung areas. 

SUNSMART President Jenny Lin Maaño-Ngai
SUNSMART CEO Mr. William Che Hon Ngai

For instance, their i-Power Cube gives a solution for clean, drinking water. “It is a solution that is not limited to just providing clean electricity, but also clean, drinking water from the integration of solar water pumps which simultaneously can act as a charging station most especially at Sitios.”

Meanwhile, their i-Solar Street Lights was revamped to provide not just Solar Lighting but also monitoring and alert functions and now IoT or Internet of Things for AP Connectivity or WiFi.

He adds that these features go beyond the basic road lighting as it also offers Warning Signal Light, 360° CCTV Monitoring, Weather Forecasting, Audio Broadcasting, Emergency Alarms, and most importantly, WIFI or AP Connectivity within its covered radius—a big help in distance learning and as well as disaster-preparedness in remote areas.

“It can be an alternative connectivity solution on small target areas such as for online hybrid learning programs to make the youth from the rural or even at most far-flung areas have the experience and access to the same Online Learning adaptation “equivalent” to the current generation in the urban,” the CEO says. 

Supporting distance learning

During the lockdown, SUNSMART has worked with government agencies to aid in the shift of school set-up learning to distance learning. 

In September, SUNSMART, through the SunSmart Ngai Che Hon Foundation Inc. in cooperation with National Electrification Administration, has turned over Integrated Off-Grid Solar Power System to MASELCO Masbate Electric Cooperative for one of the public schools in the province of Masbate.

SUNSMART also extended its generosity and help to provide an all in one, brand new printer/scanner/photocopier device as well as various school supplies, book references, and materials to Bonifacio Elementary School at Uson, Masbate Province where they discovered children having to swim in a river and climb on a trail rope just to get to a school up in the mountains.

With this, SUNSMART Ngai Che Hon Foundation has created a direct link with the public-school administration and continued to donate independent solar light bulbs that shall light up their school premises. 

SUNSMART also awarded the Top 9 of the most hardworking and diligent students in the school who continue their studies despite their very difficult situation. They were named as SUNSMART Bringer of Hope and Light Awardee which aim to serve as an inspiration of continue help and serve others.

This December, SUNSMART Ngai Che Foundation together with SunSmart Queens team with its advocacy of empowering mankind is set to participate in a feeding program and surprise gift-giving for the abandoned/street children in Manila. The purpose of the activity is to instill the tradition of Christmas by bringing hope and joy to the children amidst their situation and the current pandemic crisis.

“With SunSmart as a solution to energize the unenergized and to serve the unserved areas, it is our mutual mission to deliver our corporate social responsibility and E.L.E.M.E.N.T.S of advocacy to: “Elevate Livelihood, Empower Mankind, Engage Nature Towards Sustainability,” Maaño-Ngai shares.

True to their advocacy of making the world a better place through green solutions, SUNSMART envisions reaching out and serve one community at a time.

Gelyka Dumaraos

Gel is a writer and wanderer from the Philippines. She maintains this blog, Musings and Pathways, as a platform for her thoughts on love and life and stories of places and people she meets while on the road. Aside from writing and being a freelance media consultant, she is recently into baking and cooking. Gel lives with her fiance in a humble, work-in-progress abode in the beautiful province of Rizal. Email her at gelykaruthdumaraos@gmail.com.

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