Updated on January 12, 2024


Created on August 27, 2015

M-KOPA III Solar Home System

Upcoming Update

A solar home system with integrated pay-as-you-go functionality.

Developed By
  1. M-KOPA
Tested By
  • Lighting Global
Content Partners


Product Description

M-KOPA Solar provides a technology platform that combines embedded GSM + mobile payments to enable solar home system financing. The M-KOPA III is a combined solar home system with PAYG functionality and end-use appliances. Appliances include lights, a torch, radio, and USB ports for device use.

M-KOPA is located in Nairobi, Kenya with additional operations in Uganda and Tanzania.

By 2020, the product is discontinued. The M-KOPA III has been replaced by the M-KOPA IV.

Target SDGs

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

M-KOPA Solar distributes and implements the systems in a partnership with Safaricom.

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method


Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users obtained 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

By 2019, more than 750,000 off-grid solar systems had been sold, benefiting 3 million people.

Description of power outputs

5 USBs and 1 torch

Description of light points

3 LEDs

Total lighting service (lumen-hours per solar-day)

120 – 1200

Peak power rating (Wp)

8 Wp

Battery capacity (kWh; mAh)

3,200 mAh

Nominal battery voltage (V)

6.4 V

Battery type

Lithium iron phosphate

User replaceable battery (yes/no)


Remote system diagnostics (yes/no)


Payment structure


Mobile service required (yes/no)


Design Specifications

Design: 2 LED lights with multiple brightness settings. 1 LED portable solar torch light. 5 standard USB ports. Portable solar radio. 8 W solar panel.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

None available, this product is discontinued.

Replacement Components

Customers can purchase system components individually to replace parts of their original system or to upgrade their system.


5 years with a 24 month warranty on the solar panel, control unit and light points and 12 month for torch, radio and charging cables interview with representative.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Payback rate of 95% interview with representative.

Vetted Performance Status

Lighting Global vetted the following parameters: - Full battery run time and run time per day. - Total light output. - Lamp type. - Special features (mobile charging, radio, and pay as you go). - Overall durability and quality standards tests (drop, soldering and electronics workmanship, mechanical, minimum warranty, performance reporting).


Be sure to follow proper electrical installation and control guidelines.

Complementary Technical Systems

M-KOPA 400, M-KOPA + TV. M-KOPA also offers cookstoves, mobile phones and water tanks from third party manufacturers.

Academic Research and References

Ballesteros, A., et al., 2013, Implementation strategies for renewable energy services in low-income rural areas, Washington D.C., World Resources Institute.

Alstone, P., Gershenson, D., Kammen, D.M., 2015, Decentralized energy systems for clean electricity access,  Nature Climate Change, 5, 305-314.

Nique, M., Smertnik, H., 2015, The synergies between mobile phone access and off grid energy solutions. Springer Proceedings in Energy, 185-193.

Hirmer, S., Cruickshank, H., 2014, The user-value of rural electrification: an analysis and adoption of existing models and theories. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 24, 145-154.

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, 40, 2556-3561.

Volk, Andy. 2013. Review: M-KOPA Solar Home System. Wired, October 15, 2013.

Moore, Jesse Keith Barton, and Nicholas Hughes. 2013. Transaction Processing and Remote Activation, issued July 16, 2013.

M-KOPA. n.d. Contact Us. M-KOPA.

M-KOPA. n.d. Products. M-KOPA.

M-KOPA. n.d. Press. M-KOPA.

Previously Certified Products. n.d. VeraSol.

Lighting Global. 2018. Solar Home System Kit Quality Standards, Version 2.5. Lighting Global.

Compliance with regulations

Lighting Global QA

Evaluation methods

Payback Rate and use patterns beyond the 1 year repayment period.

Other Information

Video showcasing of M-Kopa distribution system and customer support.

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