M-KOPA III Solar Home System
A solar home system with integrated pay-as-you-go functionality.
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 The M-KOPA III has been replaced by the M-KOPA IV.
Countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda.
M-KOPA Solar distributes and implements the systems in a partnership with Safaricom.
$35 USD down payment plus $0.50 USD /day for 1 year (available in local currencies). The total price after the down payment and daily payments is ~ $218 USD.
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
Individuals, households and private sector businesses.
Patent Protected. The patent covers the PAYG functionality and mobile payment capability of M-KOPA systems.
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).
By 2019, more than 750,000 off-grid solar systems had been sold, benefiting 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)?
2 LED lights with multiple brightness settings.
1 LED portable solar torch light.
5 standard USB ports.
Portable solar radio.
8 W solar panel.
None available, this product is discontinued.
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.
Payback rate of 95% interview with representative.
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).
Contact 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.
Be sure to follow proper electrical installation and control guidelines.
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.
Payback Rate and use patterns beyond the 1 year repayment period.
Video showcasing of M-Kopa distribution system and customer support.
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