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.
Market Suggested Retail Price
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
This product has been distributed through hundreds of M-KOPA dealers in Kenya and Uganda.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
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).
Distributions to Date Status
As of 2019, more than 750,000 off-grid solar systems had been sold, reaching over 3 million people.
Description of power outputs
1 AC outlet and 1 USB
Description of light points
4 LEDs, 1 torch
Total lighting service (lumen-hours per solar-day)
1600 lumen-hours per solar-day
Peak power rating (Wp)
Battery capacity (kWh; mAh)
Main Unit: 3400 mAh
Torch: 1800 mAh
Radio: 1700 mAh
Nominal battery voltage (V)
Main Unit: 6.4 V
Torch: 3.2 V
Lithium Iron Phosphate (Main Unit), Lithium Ion (Radio and Torch)
User replaceable battery (yes/no)
Remote system diagnostics (yes/no)
Mobile service required (yes/no)
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.
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 Parameters
Manufacturer specified performance targets include affordable, mobile, and reliable.
Vetted Performance Status
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.
Academic Research and References
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.
Compliance with regulations
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.
Video showcasing M-KOPA distribution system and customer support.