Village Industrial Power’s (VIP) mobile power plant enables rural farmers to increase the value of their crops by up to 10x. Using agricultural waste as fuel, the 10kW engine creates thermal, electrical, and mechanical energy to transform crops into higher value products. VIP’s pilot power plants are currently on the ground in East Africa and will soon be in India.
VIP’s mobile power plant unit is robust, reliable, and on demand, enabling farmers to process their own crops and participate directly in the value chain. VIP’s carbon neutral engine is fuel flexible, using waste such as maize cobs, coffee parchment, mango pits, and bagasse to supply thermal, electric, and mechanical power.
The VIP engine is fuel flexible, clean burning, and able to run on numerous biomass feedstocks. Super-heated steam produces heat that can be used to produce either hot air or hot water on demand for a wide range of agricultural applications. The VIP unit offers the lowest cost of electricity in its class. It’s designed to be robust and easily operated. Using only two wrenches, the engine can be disassembled and reassembled in an hour. It’s an economic engine of growth for rural development.
This year VIP launched a mobile maize processing unit in Western Kenya. The engine runs a belt driven maize sheller producing enough waste cobs to both shell and dry maize. The fans are run by electricity, and the thermal energy, in the form of hot air, dries the maize. Properly dried maize allows farmers to get a better market price and store enough maize for personal consumption during the “hunger season.” Maize is harvested in some regions of Kenya for at least eight months of the year.
Post-harvest losses in the mango value chain range from 30 - 60% because farmers can’t process their crop. Mango production in Kenya this year will be over one million tons. Nearly 10% will be processed into value added products like dried mango and juice. With a VIP unit, mango is dried quickly to a higher-grade uniform product with more market value.