The M-KOPA 5 is a solar lighting system that is manufactured and distributed in Kenya.
The M-KOPA 5 provides a technology platform that combines embedded GSM + mobile payments to enable solar home system financing. The M-KOPA 5 is a combined solar home system with PAYG functionality and end-use appliances including lights, a torch, radio, TV, fan, and USB ports for device use. The product was designed by M-KOPA and is manufactured and distributed by dealers in Kenya and Uganda.
This product has been distributed through hundreds of M-KOPA dealers in Kenya and Uganda.
176 – 222 USD (18,999 – 23,999 Ksh)Converted on August 2020
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
Target users include individuals, businesses, and organizations in Africa interested in implementing solar power.
Patented. The patent covers PAYG functionality and mobile payment capability of M-KOPA systems.
Users can obtain the product from M-KOPA retail locations. M-KOPA relies on direct sales representatives, or agents of each retail location to manage sales. There are over 100 retail locations across the three M-KOPA target markets (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania).
As of 2019, more than 750,000 off-grid solar systems had been sold, reaching over 3 million people.
Number and type of power outputs
Number and type of light points
Manufacturer-specified lumen-hours per solar day
Peak power rating of the solar panel in standardized sunlight conditions, provided by the manufacturer
Manufacturer-specified battery capacity
Manufacturer-specified battery voltage
Type of battery used
Can the user easily replace the battery if needed?
Can this system be monitored remotely?
Type of user payment structure
Does this system require mobile connectivity (either for payments or to function)?
The system includes an 8 W solar panel and an M-KOPA 5 control unit with Lithium-Ion battery. For lighting, there are 4 x 1.2 W LED bulbs with cables and switches and 1 LED portable and rechargeable torch. Additional plugins included are a phone charging USB with 5 standard connections, 1 custom charge cable, and 1 rechargeable FM/USB radio.
Schematics developed by GSMA.
Technical support is provided by M-KOPA. If technical questions are within the warranty period, M-KOPA will cover the repair costs. Outside of the warranty, M-KOPA can repair the system at a prescribed cost.
Customers can contact M-KOPA to purchase system components individually to replace parts of their original system or to upgrade their system.
2-year warranty covering manufacturing defects on the solar panel, control unit and light points, and a 1-year warranty for the torch, radio, and charging cables.
Manufacturer specified performance targets include affordable, mobile, and reliable.
This product meets the Lighting Global Quality Standards. According to the tests conducted on this product, the full battery run time of the M-KOPA 5 Solar Home System varies from 3.2 to 23 hours depending on the brightness setting used (main lights/torch, high/low brightness, radio on). The total lighting service is 1600 lumen-hour/solar-day. The lumen maintenance corresponds to 100% the original output along 2,000 hours run time.
Potential hazards related to the operation of this product include water coming into contact with the electrical components.
Rastogi C., 2018, M-Kopa Solar: Lightning Up the Dark Continent, South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases, 7(2), pp. 93-103
Wiche S., Chidziwizano G., Uwimbabazi F., Simiyu N., 2018, “Defamiliarizing the Domestic: Exploring “M-Kopa Solar” and Sustainable Practices in Rural Kenyan Households,” ACM COMPASS 2018, California, USA.
Alstone, P., Gershenson, D., Kammen, D.M., 2015, “Decentralized energy systems for clean electricity access,” Nature Climate Change, Mar 25(5), pp. 305-314.
Harper, M., 2013, “Review of strategies and technologies for demand-side management on isolated mini-grids,” Arcata (CA): Humboldt State University.
Rever, W.B., Mints, P.J., 2014, “Remote markets 2.0: the next wave of PV expansion,” PVSC, 13(40), pp. 2556-3561.
Until August 2020, this product meets the Lightning Global Quality Standards, based on the IEC Technical Specification 62257-9-5:2018: Recommendations for renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification.
Lightning Global verified the product following the Lightning Global Quality Standards in the following aspects: truth in advertising, lumen maintenance, durability, system quality and warranty. For the Quality Test Method, products are evaluated for peak power ratings, durability tests, lumen-hours, battery capacity, run time, and more. The results of these tests are valid until August 2020.
Video showcasing M-KOPA distribution system and customer support.
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