African clean energy
The ACE 1
The ACE 1 energy system is an integral energy solution for off-the-grid households in the developing world. The device uses a combination of thermal and electric generation to provide a clean, smokeless cooking experience for its users. The solar-powered electricity it generates can also be used for phone charging and lighting.
THE ACE 1
The ACE 1 is a solar-biomass hybrid energy system which provides for the electrical and thermal energy needs of its users while emitting negligible levels of smoke, protecting their health. The electricity access provided by the ACE 1 allows users to charge their phone or plug in the LED light attachment which saves them money on electrical energy expenses, making the ACE 1 affordable. The efficient burn of the ACE 1 plus its ability to burn any dry solid biomass fuel (animal waste, crop residue, small sticks) reduces the need for unsustainably harvested wood fuel and protects our environment.
The ACE 1 is now being sold as part of the ACE Connect Package which includes a second-use Samsung smartphone with a pre-installed ACE Connect app. In 2019, we updated the ACE 1 to include ‘smart’ capabilities, allowing customers to connect it to their smartphone. The new ACE 1 can be switched off remotely, granting customers more flexibility in their loan repayments and reducing the loan risk. The ACE Connect app also enables customers to keep track of their loan repayments, as well as granting them a direct channel of communication with our customer services.
- Skilled team of maintenance services on the ground ready to support our customers through any product malfunctions.
- Sales teams who travel to communities to demonstrate using the ACE 1. They have the facility to set up contracts and loans on the spot.
- Expanding our physical infrastructure of mobile retail shops throughout our markets to provide continuous access to clean energy products and services. This project is being co-funded by the European Union.
The ACE 1
How It Works
The burning chamber of the ACE 1 is designed to reduce smoke emissions to a negligible level by creating clean biomass combustion. This is achieved with the use of a ventilator which blows oxygen into the chamber at the top and bottom. This causes the temperature of the fire within to increase to approximately 1000°C, at which point the biomass will gasify. The hot gas then floats up to the top of the chamber where it meets more oxygen and combusts completely.
The ventilator is powered by the electricity generated by the ACE 1’s LiFePO4 battery. This is charged by the solar panel distributed with the device. This solar electricity can also be used by device-holders to charge their phone in the USB ports available at the base of the ACE 1, or to plug in the device’s LED light attachment.
Provides access to solar electricity
The ACE 1 is distributed with a 12V/10W solar panel. This is used to charge the device’s LiFeP04 battery. These give users who ordinarily don’t have access to electricity the facility to charge their phones or plug in the device’s LED lamp attachment. This electricity also powers the ventilator within the cookstove which is needed to create a truly clean biomass combustion.
ACCESSIBLE ON FLEXIBLE MICRO-LOAN
The ACE 1 is sold on a 6-9 month micro-loan. Customers use the energy savings achieved with the product to pay back the investment. This gives people living on $2 a day access to a $100+ product.
REDUCES FUEL NEEDS
The ACE 1 can burn any type of solid biomass fuel (crop residue, animal waste, or small sticks). This displaces the need for energy-dense harvested wood or charcoal. It also burns fuel more efficiently than traditional open fire stoves and thus uses 50-85% less fuel.
Minimises smoke emissions
The ACE 1 has the cleanest multi-fuel cooking functionality in the world. It minimises smoke emissions to a negligible level to mitigate the negative health effects of Household Air Pollution.
In 2019, we upgraded the ACE 1 to have ‘smart’ capabilities. The new product will come with a smartphone with our proprietary Android ACE app pre-installed on it. This innovative pairing unlocks new, exciting features:
Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) Model
The new ACE 1 can be remotely switched on/off. This means customers can now make flexible, incremental repayments to activate the system’s functions for an equivalent period of time, until the full amount of the investment is paid off. Our data shows that energy cost savings are so significant (83%), they can be used to cover the value of the monthly installment, making the ACE 1 available to any household, regardless of income.
Quantification of Social and Environmental Impact
Once customers connect their smartphones to the ACE 1, it communicates back to our database with activity data from that unit. This allows us to better quantify the impact of the ACE 1, and creates unprecedented transparency into the energy consumption habits of off-grid households, on whom little data is currently available. It is important to note that we maintain the highest levels of security and privacy in our system to protect user data.
Improved Customer Service Delivery
The ACE app makes it possible to gain a direct channel of communication with customers. We can get notified about product malfunctions in real-time, even before customers get in touch with our representatives. This allows us to extend timely, high-quality maintenance services and maintain close communication with customers all throughout the process. We can also update our customers about new products and services that fit their energy needs.
The ACE 1 has been laboratory tested by Colorado State University (2014) and Covair (2016). In these tests, the ACE 1 consistently achieved IWA-ISO tier 3- 4 standards on emissions and efficiency, and received a ‘best’ rating for safety with a score of 97 out of 100. This means that the ACE 1 has the cleanest, safest and most efficient multi-fuel cooking capability in the market.
The ACE 1 has also been tested extensively under real world conditions. In a field test conducted by Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, the ACE 1 reduced woodfuel use by at least 52% compared to traditional stoves in Cambodia. It is estimated that every 25,000 stoves distributed averts 40 deaths and adds 1,295 years of healthy life (aDALYs) as a result reduced cook-smoke exposure. In a longitudinal study conducted by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Malawi, the ACE 1 reduced the incidence of cooking-related burns among children by 40%.
Value for Money
The independent British think-tank Chatham House has conducted an industry-wide analysis of commercially available cookstoves by comparing the annualised costs of various models. This study rated stoves based on their costs over time: the upfront cost of the stove divided over its lifespan, as well as the cost of the fuel needed to run it over that time. The ACE 1 is considered the most cost-effective advanced cookstove, and is even price competitive with much cheaper improved cookstoves due to its long lifespan and high efficiency.
33 x 33 x 35 cm
Solid biomass (Wood pellets are recommended)
LED Lamp (100 lumens) & Solar Panel (10v/10W)
Full fan: 750 g (8mm pellets)/50 mins.
Low fan: 750 g (8mm pellets)/100 mins.
LiFePO4.6.4 V / 5 Ah
African clean energy
Get In Touch
African Clean Energy BV
Willem de Zwijgerlaan 13-3, Amsterdam, 1056 JD, The Netherlands
African Clean Energy
Impact Hub, Amsterdam, Linnaeusstraat 2C, 1092 CK Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Plot 24, Ha Thetsane, Industrial Park, Maseru 100, Lesotho
#70C, St.135, Sangkat, Toul Tompoung, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Old Stanley, Bishop, Wakise Road, Mbale, Uganda