Amy King (BS Earth Systems, MS CEE ), Nick Azpiroz (BS Science, Technology, and Society, MS ME), Eric Reynolds Brubaker (MS/PhD ME), Prof. Jim Patell, GSB (PI)
Kukua Labs develops energy-efficient, solar-ready appliances that improve energy access and incomes of off-grid families in resource limited settings, starting in Tanzania. Solar companies in East Africa have made large inroads with home-scale systems, capitalizing on the lack of centralized grids to sell solar directly to off-grid customers. As battery capacity continues to limit solar home systems, energy-efficient appliances have never been more desirable, especially in these rapidly growing markets.
Kukua Labs aspires to raise the bar for energy-efficient appliances, boost the utility of solar microgrids, accelerate the global spread of solar energy, and improve quality of life for the 1.2 billion people who live without reliable electricity.
Starting with artificial chicken incubation, Kukua Labs has developed the world’s most energy-efficient chicken incubator. The Kukua Incubator operates at 70% less power than comparably-sized incubators which allows it to run on the affordable solar systems found in off-grid communities in Tanzania (where over 70% of households raise chickens). By raising families’ incomes by up to 30%, Kukua can help the 350 million off-grid chicken-growing households worldwide to afford electricity for the first time. Our goal is to have the Kukua incubator widely available to allow farmers to be more financially secure because they can depend upon their chicken farming as a steady income.
Kukua Labs is currently continuing testing with farmers in Tanzania, completing design for manufacturing, and building ongoing partnerships with solar and energy companies worldwide.