African clean energy

The ACE One

The ACE One 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

Our Solution

Hardware

  • The ACE One 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 One allows users to charge their phone or plug in the LED light attachment which saves them money on electrical energy expenses, making the ACE One affordable.
  • The efficient burn of the ACE One 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.

Digital Infrastructure

  • The ACE One 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 One to include ‘smart’ capabilities, allowing customers to connect it to their smartphone. The new ACE One 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.

Physical Infrastructure

  • 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 One. 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 One is designed to reduce smoke emissions to a negligible level by creating clean biomass combustion. Here’s how: 

  • Ventilator blows oxygen into the top & bottom of the burning chamber
  • Oxygen causes temperature of the fire within the chamber to increase to approximately 1000°C, at which point biomass will gasify 
  • Hot gas floats to the top of the burning chamber where it meets more oxygen & combusts completely

Product Features

Provides access to solar electricity

The ACE One’s solar-powered battery generates electricity, giving users who ordinarily don’t have electricity access the facility to charge their phones or plug in the LED lamp attachment.

ACCESSIBLE ON FLEXIBLE MICRO-LOAN

The ACE One is sold on a 12-15 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 $120+ product.

REDUCES FUEL NEEDS

The ACE One 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 One 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.

Smart Technology

In 2019, we upgraded the ACE One to have ‘smart’ capabilities. The new product will come with a smartphone with our proprietary Android ACE Connect app pre-installed on it. This innovative pairing unlocks new, exciting features:

Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) Model

The new ACE One 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 One available to any household, regardless of income.

Quantification of Social and Environmental Impact

Once customers connect their smartphones to the ACE One, it communicates back to our database with activity data from that unit. This allows us to better quantify the impact of the ACE One, 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 Connect 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.

Industry Approval

Laboratory Testing

The ACE One has been laboratory tested by Colorado State University (2014) and Covair (2016). In these tests, the ACE One 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 One has the cleanest, safest and most efficient multi-fuel cooking capability in the market.

Field Testing

The ACE One has also been tested extensively under real world conditions. In a field test conducted by Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, the ACE One 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 One 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 One 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.

Technical Specifications

Dimensions

33 x 33 x 35 cm

Weight

4.6 kg

Fuel

Solid biomass

Durability

8-12 Years

Includes

LED Lamp (100 lumens) & Solar Panel (10v/10W)

Fuel Consumption

Full fan: 750 g (8mm pellets)/50 mins.

Low fan: 750 g (8mm pellets)/100 mins.

Battery

LiFePO4 3.2V / 10Ah

Get In Touch

Mailing Address

African Clean Energy BV, Willem de Zwijgerlaan 13-3, 1056 JD Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Visiting Address

African Clean Energy, Impact Hub Amsterdam,  Linnaeusstraat 2C, 1092 CK Amsterdam, The Netherlands

VAT Number: NL854231791B01

KVK Number: 61155748

ACE Lesotho

Plot 24, Ha Thetsane Industrial Park, Maseru 100, Lesotho

ACE Uganda

Plot 27, Nankupa Road, Senior Quarters, Mbale, Uganda

ACE Cambodia

Wat Polanka Road, Boeung Daun Ba Village, Sangkat Slor Kram, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 17251