(Press Release) SunCulture, a Kenya-based technology company and a leader in solar water pumps and irrigation solutions for smallholder farmers, has won the Global LEAP Awards for its new RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart Direct™ solar irrigation system, in the category of submersible pumps for medium head applications. The Global LEAP Awards identify best-in-class off-grid appliance technologies that lead the pack in energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They are run by the Efficiency for Energy Access Coalition and supported by UK Aid, USAID, and Power Africa.
RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart Direct™ is a solar-powered irrigation system that is optimized for battery-free operation. Coming in at half the market price of the company’s flagship system, RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart Battery™ (which won the Global LEAP Award for submersible, battery-powered pumps) the RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart Direct™ makes solar irrigation accessible to a much broader segment of the smallholder market.
ClimateSmart Direct™ is an intelligent, brushless DC motor controller that can continuously pump water with as low as 30W of input power. Paired with the most powerful of SunCulture’s RainMaker2 submersible pumps, ClimateSmart Direct™ can deliver up to 2,800L per hour from water sources up to 30 metres deep. The system’s IoT capabilities enable remote monitoring of performance, over-the-air firmware updates, and dry run protection.
“We developed RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart Direct as an entry-level product to help low-income farmers begin to climb the productivity ladder. SunCulture’s ClimateSmart architecture is fully-modular, enabling upgrades over time to power additional home and farm appliances. We’re particularly excited to offer our customers hyperlocal weather forecasts and precision irrigation services leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities of ClimateSmart to connect a range of farm sensors to the Microsoft Azure cloud-based system over SigFox and GSM,” said Charles Nichols, SunCulture’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder.
RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart Direct™ is available in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Senegal, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as other international markets upon request. Outside of Kenya, SunCulture leverages key distribution partnerships to deliver to end-users.
Hack Stiernblad, SunCulture’s Director of Business Development adds, “This system was designed to be highly versatile across markets, and is equipped with special features for our distribution partners, who can access our IoT dashboard and API to monitor devices and make data-driven business decisions. We’re already seeing strong interest from new and existing partners, and we’re very excited to give farmers around the world access to our products through these partnerships.”
SunCulture develops and commercializes life-changing technology that solves the biggest daily challenges for the world’s 570 million smallholder farming households. SunCulture was the first company to commercialize solar-powered irrigation in Africa and is the only company in Africa that provides a comprehensive solution bundled with financing and value-add services. SunCulture’s partners include EDF, Energy Access Ventures, Partners Group Impact, Shell Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, MIT, and USAID. SunCulture recently won awards for Excellence in Transformational Business and Achievement in Sustainable Development: Food, Water and Land at the Financial Times and International Financial Corporation Transformational Business Awards.