Updated on January 12, 2024

·

Created on June 6, 2016

M-KOPA IV Solar Home System

Upcoming Update

Solar home system available in East Africa.

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

Author

Product Description

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

M-KOPA IV is currently discontinued, and it has been replace by the M-KOPA 5 Solar Home System.

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

Target SDGs

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Market Suggested Retail Price

$218.00

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

Mass produced. M-KOPA products are assembled in Kenya. Solar lightning components are manufactured by D-light Solar. M-KOPA Solar also refurbishes products recovered from the market. They clean them, replace damaged components, and then they re-introduce them into the market at lower costs.

Intellectural Property Type

Patent

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 July 2016, 375,000 M-KOPA SHS units have been distributed. Of those units, roughly 75,000 are M-Kopa IV, 150,000 M-Kopa III and the remainder are the previous M-KOPA models.Interview with representative

Description of power outputs

5 USBs

Description of light points

2 LED lights and 1 LED torch

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

1,700 with main lights and torch on high, 1,600 with main lights on high and 1,800 with main lights on low.

Peak power rating (Wp)

7.8 Wp

Battery capacity (kWh; mAh)

Main unit: 3,200 mAh, Torch: 580 mAh, Radio: 1,100 mAh.

Nominal battery voltage (V)

Main unit: 6.4 V, Torch: 3.2 V.

Battery type

Lithium iron phosphate

User replaceable battery (yes/no)

No

Remote system diagnostics (yes/no)

Yes

Payment structure

Pay-as-you-go

Mobile service required (yes/no)

Yes

Design Specifications

The system includes:

  • 8 watt solar panel
  • 2 LED bulbs with cables and switches
  • 1 LED portable and rechargeable torch
  • Phone charging UBS with 5 standard connections
  • 1 rechargeable radio
 

Product Schematics

Technical Support

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.

Replacement Components

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

Lifecycle

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

This product meets the Lightning Global Quality Standards. According to the tests conducted to this product, the full battery run time of the M-KOPA IV Solar Home System varies from 1.1 to 13 hours depending on the brightness setting used (main lights/torch, high/low brightness radio On). The total lightning service also varies depending on the brightness setting, from 160o to 1800 lumen-hour/solar-day. The lumen maintenance corresponds to 100% the original output along 2,000 hours run time. The product also meets the following durability tests: Drop test, switch and connector cycling, strain relief test, physical ingress protection test. protection from occasional rain for the main unit and radio and protection from frequent rain for the torch. Regarding the battery, the system counts with an appropriate battery protection circuit.

Safety

Customers should follow proper electrical installation and control guidelines. It is not recommended that non-trained customers open the case of components such as batteries and solar modules, nor try to replace electrical components.

Complementary Technical Systems

M-KOPA 400, M-KOPA + TV.

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, 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;5:305-314.

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;40:2556-3561.

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.

M-KOPA in the Circular Economy. 2019. www.youtube.com.

IEC TS 62257-9-5:2018 | IEC Webstore. n.d. webstore.iec.ch.

GSMA Mobile for Development Intelligence. 2013. M-KOPA Solar. www.gsma.com. London, U.K. : GSMA.

GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities. 2017. Lessons from the Use of Mobile in Utility Pay-As-You-Go Models. www.gsma.com. London, U.K. : GSMA.

 

Compliance with regulations

Until 2019, 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. The compliance expired in April 2019, and by June 2020 no new certification is related to this product.

Evaluation methods

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. The results of these tests were valid until April 30 2019. As this product has been replaced by the M-KOPA V, the M-KOPA IV has not been tested anymore.

Other Information

Video showcasing M-Kopa distribution system and customer support.

Comments from the Community

3 Comments

  1. Pritpal Singh says:

    For the M-Kopa IV system, the statement made is that there are 5 USB ports. This is not correct. There is only one USB port but 5 different connectors for charging different types of cell phones.

  2. Pritpal Singh says:

    I posted this comment in the window specific to the Simpa system. However, I will post it here also. The battery is simply labelled as “battery”. My guess is that it is a lead acid battery, typically used in the small back up UPS applications in India (since it is a 12V battery) and since it is easily replaceable.

  3. Pritpal Singh says:

    For the M-Kopa IV system, the high and medium lumens output seem very close and the torch output seems low. It is probably worth double checking these values.

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