Portable Power Products


Small (usually 1-5W) lanterns and solar panels not fixed to a house. Rechargeable vs. Self-sufficient Products: The major differentiation is between rechargeable lanterns (i.e. Sunlabob, Shidhulai), and self-sufficient, portable solar panels that power lamps, mobile phones, and other appliances (i.e. ToughStuff, Green Power). These products are a step between kerosene lamps and fixed home systems. Portable power products usually cost between US$10-50, depending on if they include a solar panel. Some portable products also use crank power (Lifeline Energy). Products, especially self-sufficient panels, are usually designed to be inexpensive, durable, and low-maintenance, so they can be sold through a retail model. ECCA Solar Tuki lamp, Nepal Portable products are most appropriate for customers who cannot afford home systems, or who have mobile lifestyles unsuited to a fixed system. (i.e Shidhulai's customers in rural Bangladesh are afraid their homes will flood and they would lose a fixed system.)


Rechargeable Products Rechargeable lanterns are cheaper, often costing only US$10, because solar panels are an expensive material. The need for charging stations can create ongoing revenue for a microfranchise (i.e. Sunlabob), and create incentives to perform maintenance. Ongoing payments make it possible to further reduce price by financing up-front cost through ongoing payments. For impact measurement and carbon credits, it is easier to track the ongoing use of rechargeable lanterns.