Zola: Reaching Beyond the Grid
Clean, affordable, and reliable solar energy can improve education, health, and economic standing. Knowing this, Zola Electric brings solar-powered microgrids to places in Tanzania lacking the infrastructure for reliable grid access. Zola came to us to design the Hub, a wall-mounted battery pack and control panel to power this microgrid.
formed to fit
For many homes using the Hub, it is the most prominent tech product in the household. The design had to be balanced; customer interviews indicated a desire for a modern and tech-forward aesthetic, but the large surface area required by the battery pack could be disruptive in a home.
lighting the way
The Hub is designed to keep a low profile on the wall. Drawing on the textures and materials in the communities it serves, a subtle weave pattern breaks up the product’s large surface area.
The charcoal grey color evokes premium tech while being scuff and grime-resistant, allowing the Hub to recede into its environment. Simple iconography and color-coded LED’s indicate statuses such as rate-of-charge and battery level. The housings were designed so that multiple Hubs can be stacked together, enabling easy transportation via motorcycle to remote customer locations. Launched in 2018, the Zola Hub advances Zola Electric’s mission to make decentralized, renewable energy accessible to all.