M-KOPA IV Solar Home System
Solar home system available in East Africa.
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.
Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
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 around 218 USD.
Solar home systems such as Simpa Networks, Zola Electric, Fenix International, Mobisol, and Azuri Technologies.
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy.
Individuals, households and private sector businesses in East Africa are the target users of the M-KOPA products.
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.
Patent Protected. The patent covers the 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 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
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:
- 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
Schematics developed by GSMA.
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.
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
This product meets the Lightning Global Quality Standards. According to the tests conoducted 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Video showcasing M-Kopa distribution system and customer support.
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