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“Rechargeables” are clean power products that need to be externally recharged by bringing them to a store for charging or exchange.  These products create an ongoing income stream for the manufacturer and/or commission-based microentrepreneurs which often allows companies to sell products for less than their full cost up-front and make it back over time.  This can be used to sell energy products in regions where income is not generally enough to support them.  It also allows microentrepreneurs to operate in areas where the market would be quickly saturated from sales alone.
Rechargeable products are usually either:

  • Lanterns without their own solar panel, which need to be brought to a central location to be charged by a solar panel or pedal charger.
  • Lanterns or solar home systems which have a panel, but cut off automatically after a certain amount of time until the user pays again.
  • Rechargeable AA type batteries, which are generally brought in and exchanged.
  • Larger car-battery size batteries or fuel cells.

Rechargeable Product Country Charger Uses

Zolair Energy

PILA1 zinc-air fuel cell Southern AfricaCentralized fuel cell recharge station at a local shop. The fuel cell provides up to 260 hours of continuous electricity which can be used for any purpose. Zolair also sells accessory products such as lights and appliances that can be used with the fuel cell.


Pico rechargeable lantern Laos Small portable lantern charged by community-owned and operated station Household and work task lighting

Shidhulai Affordable Technologies

Surya Hurricane Bangladesh Centralized Solar Charger on Shidhulai education boat Installed inside former kerosene lamp, cheaper brighter replacement.

Nuru Energy

Nuru Light Rwanda Centralized Pedal Charger run by microentrepreneur Task lighting, studying, working