Mobisol Solar Home System
A large solar home system designed to power business or larger appliances such as refrigerators.
The Mobisol Solar Home System is a large integrated home and businesss level energy system with a solar panel, battery, power electronics, appliances and pay as you go functionality. Mobisol systems are available with power ratings of 80, 100, 120 and 200 Watts. Mobisol systems have larger generation capacities than similar solar home system products in East Africa to support more demanding appliances such as refrigerators, televisions and de-huskers for example.
“Mobisol solar home systems come complete with several LED light bulbs, portable lantern, mobile phone charger and balance-of-system components including wiring and switches. The plug’n play Mobisol systems are quickly installed by locally trained and certified Mobisol technicians – simply by using a hammer.” Mobisol’s webpage
Mobisol is located in Berlin, Germany.
Tanzania was the market Mobisol entered first followed by Rwanda and Kenya
Mobisol has storefronts in Tanzania and Rwanda that are distributing systems. Mobisol has a third party distributor in Kenya.
The systems require a 10% down payment with a $25 – $45 USD monthly payment for 36 months. interview with representative Mobile payments are made via Vodacom in Tanzania, MTN in Rwanda and M-Pesa in Kenya.
Individuals, households and private sector businesses who represent are the target users.
Mobisol assembles solar home system kits from manufacturers in China, Germany and Kenya. The kit assembly process and manufacturer supply is monitored by Mobisol and each of the system’s components are put through a series of quality tests. The system appliances are sourced from a third party and are Mobisol quality assured. interview with representative
Mobisol has intellectual property related to software platforms, user tracking and power electronics. There are no patents relating to Mobisol’s offerings.
Users can purchase systems from retail storefronts in Tanzania, Rwanda or Kenya. Mobisol has a system of national, regional and market hubs with flagship stores in the capital cities.
As of August 2016, Mobisol has distributed near 58,000 installed and functioning units. This represents an installed capacity of roughly six (6) MW. 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)?
Mobisol offers four solar home system sizes ranging from 80 – 200 watts. The system includes a solar panel, four light points, one 5 volt USB port, five 12 volt ports, a radio as well as a television for the larger systems. Mobisol also includes a portable lamp supplied by Sun King Eco. Mobisol’s product for revenue generation includes a cell phone charging station and other appliances.
Mobisol is working toward prototypes and pilots for systems that are larger than 200 watts.
A toll free service hotline is available for customer inquiries that is open from 7 am – 10 pm local time.
Customers can search through the Mobisol catalog and purchase replacement components.
The lifetime of Mobisol systems is 4.5 – 5 years. interview with representative
There is a three (3) year warranty on the entire system with a 48 hour response time to system problems. The solar panel has a 25 year warranty.
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, television 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.
Mobisol has designed specific business kits and appliances that are compatible with their solar home system. Included in this kit is the necessary appliance as multiple phone charger or a barber’s hair clipper and also includes educational material to help start the business – such as book-keeping essentials.
Rolffs, P., Byrne, R., & Ockwell, D. (2014). Financing sustainable energy for all: pay-as-you-go vs. traditional solar finance approaches in Kenya. Retrieved from http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/52474/
Oruoch, A. N. O. (2015, August 12). Financial Aspects of Stand-alone Solar Power Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (Thesis). Retrieved from https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/handle/10355/46560
Warnecke, T., & Houndonougbo, A. N. (2016). Let There Be Light: Social Enterprise, Solar Power, and Sustainable Development. Journal of Economic Issues, 50(2), 362–372. http://doi.org/10.1080/00213624.2016.1176479
Pueyo, A. (2013). Real Time Monitoring Technologies for Pro-Poor Access to Electricity (IDS Evidence Report No. Evidence Report;12). Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Retrieved from https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/123456789/2831
Lighting Global certified and the Mobisol quality assurance program.
Payback Rate and use patterns beyond the 3 year repayment period.
Mobisol trains their employees and technicians through the Mobisol Academy.
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