The Le1 – engaging students in electricity generation

Our mission is to inspire, educate and support the next generation of energy innovators in Zambia.


Students working on an Le1

In order to achieve this mission we have developed an engaging curriculum which teaches students how to build an electricity supply able to provide 4 hours of light and charge one mobile phone a day.

We believe the best way for students to learn this is to build an electricity which they can use in their daily lives and provides them with useful electricity. This not only engages students but it also contributes to improving access to electricity. For this reason the core of our curriculum centres around the Le1, a DIY charge controller.


The Le1

What is a charge controller? A charge controller is a device which can take power from a source of electricity and use that power to charge something, in this case a mobile phone or a power bank. Students can use a variety of power sources because the Le1 is unique in that it can be powered using a variety of scrap motors, including but not limited to, car alternators, ceiling fans, drill motors, blender motors as well as solar panels.


Le1 being powered by a scrap motor

The Le1 is based on the successful Arduino platform and as students progress through a series of workshop sessions they build their own Le1, learning how a charge controller works and how to measure voltage and current using an Arduino.

Through this students develop skills in electronics, physics and programming, the essential skills they need in order to develop new energy technologies. All of this can be done from a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Once students have completed the sessions, they will be able to use the Le1 to power essential electronics in their homes.