The solar mills, developed and distributed by Village Infrastructure Angels (VIA), are milling systems powered by solar energy. The solar power milling stations are intended to work in off-grid rural communities, where agro-processors need to walk several miles to the nearest mill or have to process their produce by hand. The mills are provided by leasing, and women entrepreneurs are especially encouraged to run the solar agro-processing stations. The mills are monitored remotely via IoT technology to track energy consumption and charge the batteries.
Village Infrastructure Angels was founded in 2012 in the United Kingdom and currently operates in the UK, Australia, and Vanuatu.
Market Suggested Retail Price
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
This product is currently manufactured in China, through the company Project Support Services.Interview with Representative in 2020
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Users can obtain this product directly from Village Angels Infrastructure. A 3-5 year leasing contract is signed by female entrepreneurs, which run the solar agro-processing power stations within the village. Solar-powered milling is provided to final clients through a pay-as-you-go system. After delivery of the equipment, VIA provides local partners with training on how to install the renewable energy systems into rural villages, and local village operators and supply chain partners on technical aspects of the products, and business skills.
Distributions to Date Status
By 2017, more than 800 solar mills have been delivered, including 340 as cash sales and 270 on 3-5 year lease agreements.
Rice, corn, flour, coconut, cassava
Feedstock rate (kg/hr)
Energy requirement (W)
Portable or stationary
The solar mills work using direct current at 24 V, driven directly from the photovoltaic modules without any current conversion stage. The solar milling system consists of a set of photovoltaic modules, batteries, and a charge controller. The system is monitored remotely via a SIM card provided by Eseye. The company offers seven kinds of solar mills developed by PSS, intended to different tasks: rice huller, corn sheller, flour grinder, or coconut/cassava grater.
Provided by VIA.
The mills are designed such that the replacement components are available in local stores. When this is not possible, replacement components are provided by the manufacturer. Interview with Representative in 2020
5 yearsInterview with Representative in 2020
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Village Infrastructure Angels has set the goal to serve with their products 1 million people by 2020. The solar mills can reduce the time of the hand-processing of staple crops from 1 hour to 5 minutes. By mechanizing this task, usually performed by women, the time saved can be used to support children's education. In particular, girls are avoided to be pulled out of school to help with manual agro-processing.
Vetted Performance Status
Users should be aware to properly handle the electric components of the mills. Additionally, batteries should not be opened, and in case of failure or misfunctioning of one of its components, it is recommended to contact the provider.
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Compliance with regulations
None available for the solar mills.
On this website, there can be found videos showing the performance of solar agro-processing stations.