Greenlight Planet, Inc., a for-profit solar energy company serving off-grid families in Africa and South Asia, announces the launch of two new products across sub-Saharan Africa, the Sun King™ Mobile and the Sun King™ Pro2. In addition to providing bright, nighttime lighting for homes that use paraffin lanterns, both products are designed to charge user’s mobile phones using solar energy. Featuring proprietary technology and designed for the rigors of the rural marketplace, both products feature a 5-year battery life based on Lithium-Ferro-Phosphate (LiFePO 4) battery technology.
Mobile connectivity remains a crucial lifeline in rural communities across Africa, providing banking, healthcare and employment services for users. Yet, often individuals must walk 10 kilometers to electrified shops and pay steep fees to charge their phone. Says Anish Thakkar, company CEO, “We are thrilled to offer this lifestyle-enhancing product at such an affordable price.”
Greenlight Planet, which sold over 1 million solar lamps last year, priced the Sun King Mobile at $30USD — 35-40% less expensive than its competitor’s products. The Sun King Mobile features: Day or night USB mobile phone charging; Light 8 times brighter than typical paraffin lanterns; Up to 30 hours of light after a typical day of solar charging; and 5-year battery life based on LiFePO 4 battery technology. LiFePO4 batteries have somewhat lower energy density than the more common LiCoO2 design found in consumer electronics, but offers longer lifetimes, better power density, and are inherently safer.
The Sun King Pro2 is the next generation in the brand’s Sun King product line-up of solar lamps. Twice as bright as alternative solar lanterns, the Pro2 charges two standard mobile phones per day while providing safe, bright nighttime lighting. With the Pro2, users can stay connected by charging their mobile phone – and even their neighbor’s phones – from their own home.
Countries in Africa where the new products will be sold: Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa and the Central African Republic. Also, this month, the company will launch its Direct To Village sales model in Kenya and Uganda. Replicating its successes in India, Greenlight Planet will recruit and skill over 3,000 micro-entrepreneurs called Sun King Business Associates in Kenya and Uganda by 2015 to deliver Sun King products to off-grid families directly. In thousands of villages where they operate in the world today Business Associates increase their household income by 40% on average while providing a valuable social service for their communities.