SolaFin2Go: Solar Power changing lives in rural Africa

Integrated and affordable solar energy access solutions for socioeconomically diverse rural communities in Botswana.

Problem Overview

600 Million

People in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity.

No Energy Supply

Significant issues exist with continued lack of access to proper energy supply .


Of the population directly burn solid fuel for cooking, boiling water, lighting and heating.

Socio-Economic Conditions

There are detrimental socio-economic conditions, poor health and well-being and local/global environmental concerns, exacerbated by population growth and urbanisation.

The Solution

SolaFin2Go is a unique project that addresses the technical and financial challenges of using standalone solar power systems to provide clean and affordable modern energy access for off-grid households. The project aims to facilitate rapid progress towards achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal SDG7 – Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The project focuses on rural and peri-urban areas in Botswana to support the national government’s Vision 2036 strategy Sustainable Economic Development. The Stage 1 project (duration April 2018 to March 2019) is evaluating ‘entry level’ plugand-play modular solutions combining PV, batteries, and innovative solar thermal technologies, whilst also developing strategies to secure capital investment for equipment and maintenance through improved pay-as-you-go ‘Energy as a service’ business models.

Key Components

Photovoltaic module

(provided by dpSun) designed for enhanced robustness and longevity in a sub-Saharan African climate. Peak power output 280Wp

Electrical Battery

(provided by Ulster University) has been selected to deliver up to 800 Wh/day of electrical energy at 12VDC to service basic household power demands for lighting and mobile phone charging with surplus power available for television, cooling fans, or a small refrigerator.

Solar Water Heater

(provided by Solaform) consisting of a solar absorber and water storage tank (28 Litres) integrated into a single unit featuring a patented thermal diode innovation to maximise energy collection and heat retention.

Control and Communications Device

Optimise PV performance through maximum power point tracking. Store electrical energy and manage the battery to maximise lifetime. Regulate and monitor user power consumption to allow surplus electricity to be diverted an immersion heater to boost the hot water supply. Communicates operational data to enable remote monitoring of system status and performance.

Fintech platform

(provided by Empowered) which enables “unbanked” customers to access the SolaFin2Go energy service through an affordable pay-as-you-go arrangement which also manages ongoing system maintenance and upgrade requirements. The platform facilitates essential de-risking for financial investors by securing key user personal information, recording their payment history, and providing ongoing monitoring of equipment status.


Would you like to learn more?

If you would like to work with us, please get in touch.

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