Martine Stillman, Mechanical Engineering Program Lead at Synapse, was qu
When Simpa Networks wanted to create a pay-as-you-go control box for solar power systems in developing countries, they turned to Synapse for basic enclosure and electrical design expertise. Simpa Networks wanted to make clean solar energy a viable alternative for “Base of the Pyramid” consumers, and create a pricing model allowing consumers to purchase the solar equipment for a minimal initial expenditure, and then through "progressive purchase" of the supplied energy move towards full ownership of the equipment. Synapse developed the preliminary prototype of the embedded hardware component of the Progressive Purchase™ platform called The Simpa Regulator™. Synapse assembled the electrical hardware components, developed the firmware, and obtained a suitable mechanical enclosure to house the prototype, used as a tool for user studies and concept demonstrations. The result is a secure, low-cost, intuitive, rugged, and tamper proof device that allows Simpa to test and prove their new pricing model with real customers, giving them valuable new information about customer needs and desires.