Amped Innovation PBC
WOWsolar 100 is a solar home system with integrated Pay-as-you-go functionality.
WOWsolar 100 is a solar home system with integrated Pay-as-you-go functionality designed by Amped Innovation in partnership with Driven Innovation and Angaza. This product provides home lighting through an energy system composed of a solar panel, a combined control unit with battery and 3 – 4 LED lamps. A portable radio is also included with the system. Users can upgrade their system by adding solar panels, battery packs, lamps and even a TV to climb the energy ladder. This system is part of Amped Innovation’s WOWsolar Family product which is a verified product of the Lighting Global Quality Standards.
East Africa, West Africa and India.
WOWsolar 100 does not have a retail price, the system has a Pay-As-You-Go business model.
WOWsolar 100 competes with other pay-as-you-go solar home systems, such as Mobisol and Rural Spark Energy Kit. A wide variety of other competing Solar Home Systems are detailed in the E4C solutions library
Since Amped Innovation’s WOWsolar Family product is verified by Lightning Global, it competes with any of their verified PAYG solar home systems. Full list available via Lightning Global‘s verified products.
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
Low-income families living under $4 per day.
The system is mass produced. Each part of the system is manufactured individually.
The main component which contains the software-enabled Pay-As-You-Go interface has a housing that consists of two injection molded parts. At the bottom inside the housing all the internal components are loaded and secured from the back. Additionally, the main housing provides features to allow access to external connectors and to support the internal components. For the status LED’s, a custom light pipe is manufactured.
Both the housing of the main component and the housing of the external lights lens use high gloss surfaces. This external lights create a diffused light through a domed lens which is attached to its top housing with two screws and four pins.
Amped Innovation completed initial field trials of their WOWsolar Family product in the summer of 2016 with distribution partners in East and West Africa. As a result the company secured Memorandums of Understanding for 170,000 units in 2017.
Amped Innovation has been tasked to deliver over 1.6 million solar power centers during the next five years through partnerships with NGO’s and social ventures serving smallholder farmers.
As of 2019, Amped Innovation’s solar products have reached over 50,000 households.
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)?
- 1 – 10W Solar Panel
- 1 – Control unit with 20 Wh (1500 mAh, 12.8 V) lithium iron phosphate battery, 3 solar panel power inlets and 4 outlets (2 USB, 2 DC)
- 1 – Radio (Portable, 3 Wh battery)
- 3 – 140 lumens round LED Lamps (50 lumens in dim brightness setting)
Support provided by manufacturer.
Solar panels can be replaced separately.
The complete lifecycle is unknown, but the product has a two year warranty on the kit and its components.
- Daytime Power: 3 full phone charges and 8 hours of radio functionality.
- Nighttime Power: 15 hours of 50 lumens per lamp or 6 hours of 140 lumens per lamp.
Lightning Global verified the following quality standards categories:
- Truth in advertising.
- Lumen maintenance.
- Battery composition, protection and durability.
- Physical ingress protection.
- Water ingress protection.
- Soldering and electronics workmanship.
- Mechanical durability.
- Minimum warranty terms.
- Performance reporting.
The Global LEAP Awards tested the product in 2019, placing it as one of their finalists. They tested maximum head, hydraulic energy, total volume of water moved and hours of operation.
Lighting Global (Shenzhen Academy of Metrology and Quality Inspection), Global LEAP Awards.
If pressure is applied on the photovoltaic panel by sitting or stepping on it, the device might break and cause bodily injury or electrical shock.
Precaution must be taken regarding electrical contacts or wiring, the person handling them must use adequate safety gear.
To avoid electrical shock, the photovoltaic panel must be earth grounded.
A minor risk of burns exists due to the heating of the photovoltaic panel’s surface by the sun.
The system is upgradeable; additional solar panels, battery packs and appliances (including a fan, hair trimmer and extra lamps) may be connected to the system.
2017, Welfare impacts of an entry-level solar home system in Uganda. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 9(2), pp. 277-294.
Esper, H., London, T. and Kanchwala, Y., 2013, Access to clean lighting and its impact on children: An exploration of solaraid’s sunnymoney. Child Impact Case Study No. 4, William Davidson Institute, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
IDinsight, 2015, d.light Solar Home System Impact Evaluation. IDinsight Report.
Institute of Developing Economies, 2015, Impacts of Solar Lanterns in Geographically Challenged Locations: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh.
Lemaire, X., 2018, Solar home systems and solar lanterns in rural areas of the Global South: What impact? WIREs Energy Environ, 7(5), e301.
These pieces of research are not specifically about the WOWsolar 100, but highlight the value solar home systems can provide in resource constrained environments.
Lighting Global cites Quality Test Method (QTM) in IEC 62257-9-5 and the Lighting Global Quality Assurance Protocol for Solar Home Systems as evaluation criteria for the WOWsolar Family products.
Amped Innovation successfully acquired more than 3.3 million USD in venture funding from ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, Schneider Electric Ventures and FINCA Ventures in 2019. They have partnered with organisations including: Driven Innovation, Angaza, the Autodesk Foundation, Magneto Commerce, Ryan McSwain Design and Solaris Offgrid.
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