The Rural Spark Energy Kit is an energy solution for rural communities. It is a modular system, with a number of PV solar panels, batteries and lamps that adapt to the customer’s needs. The standard kit includes a Rural Spark router station, one 40Wp solar panel, a prepaid system, one Rural Spark battery cube, 2 Wired LED bulbs, 12 Rural Spark lamps, and 2 mobile phone charge cables with most used connectors. The Spark Station can power any USB powered or 12V powered application. The system is supported by the Rural Spark Service Platform.
Customers become Local Energy Suppliers who can sell the energy to their fellow villagers, becoming resilient entrepreneurs. They can rent lamps, charge phones for their neighbors, which allow them to get an additional income. Modularity of the Rural Spark station also allows for flexible storage capacity to fit the energy demand. The battery cubes can be traded, allowing to trade energy between Local Energy Suppliers increasing efficiency and reliability.
Rural Spark is located in New Delhi, India and Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
Rural Spark has distributed pilots in Bihar, India. The first kits have been distributed by Vayam Group, which is part of Basix Group India. Rural Spark will rely on different rural distribution companies to have the products distributed on a large-scale over several channels.interview with representative
The kits are produced in India. Mass production launched in August 2016.interview with representative
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Distributions to Date Status
To date 150 kits have been distributed in the state of Bihar in India. Large scale commercialisation is planned for August 2016. interview with representative
Description of power outputs
2 AC outlets and 16 USB
Description of light points
12 Rural Spark lamps + 2 Wired LED bulbs
Total lighting service (lumen-hours per solar-day)
24 lumen-hours per solar-day
Peak power rating (Wp)
Battery capacity (kWh; mAh)
Nominal battery voltage (V)
Lithium Iron Phosphate
User replaceable battery (yes/no)
Remote system diagnostics (yes/no)
Mobile service required (yes/no)
The system was designed to be robust, shock-proof, and dust/water resistant. A clear and simple interface indicating available energy, system status, and pre-paid balance is included. There are 16 USB ports and two 12 V DC ports. The modular battery packs can be used to power applications later when no energy is generated (e.g. on a cloudy day in case of solar) or the demand is higher. The battery weights 225 g and has the following dimensions: 89 x 89 x 40.5 mm. Lamp specifications:
- Bright LED light with 3 modes: Super bright (60 lumens), Average (25 lumens) and Energy save (5 lumens)
- Powered by a LiFePO4 battery
- Durable plastics ( Polycarbonate & ABS casing) and rubber-covered ports provide drop protection (up to 1m) and water resistance
- The lamp contains metal hook to hang the lamp, and a screw hole for wall mounting
- Lamp Dimension: 83 (h) 80 (w) x 36 (d) mm
- Lamp Weight: 117 g
- The lamp is designed to be charged by any standard (5 V) USB charger, including any common phone adapter. The USB - Micro USB cable is included in the box
- 3 LEDs indicating the battery level while using and charging.
24/7 support line by Rural Spark
Replacement service is provided by the manufacturer.
The product has an estimated lifetime of 7 years and a warranty of 2 years against any manufacturing defect.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
- Over 3.000 cycles possible, 3-5 time more cycles than standard batteries
- The lamp is built to last for more than 5 years.
Vetted Performance Status
No listed hazards.
Complementary Technical Systems
Battery cubes, lamps and solar panels can be expanded to adapt to the customers' needs. The Rural Spark kit can be used to power other electric appliances, for instance 2 hours of TV require 3 battery cubes, 2 hours of fan require 1 battery cube. USB ports and standard 12V outlets are the power connectors in the router, ensuring standard connectivity for most devices to be able to be powered.
Academic Research and References
E. Mertens, M.A. van Houten, P.G.S. Rutten, Enable the growth of a smart energy and information network in rural India today, DOI: 10.1109/ISGTEurope.2013.6695234 Conference: Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe (ISGT EUROPE), 2013 4th IEEE/PES, 2013
van Heist, M.M.G.; Tomico, O.; & Winthagen, V.O.; (2012). Designing for, with or within: 1st, 2nd and 3rd person points of view on designing for systems, NordiCHI ’12, October 14-17, 2012 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Compliance with regulations
Rural Spark offers a Service and Retail platform working together with the Rural Spark Energy Router and the existing infrastructure of rural distributors. This platform facilitates marketing campaigns, pre-paid payments, changes in subscriptions and other customer facing interactions through SMS and Phone and gives real-time insights to management. The lamp comes with one Micro USB Charge Cable and the User Manual & Warranty Card.