Miller Center Fellowship

Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



Opportunity ILUMÉXICO sells solar home systems and offers after-sale services to rural Mexican communities, providing over 30,000 customers access to light; however, very few of these customers have refrigeration. ILUMÉXICO has the opportunity to address an unmet need by providing low-cost refrigeration in addition to light, thus helping its customers climb the energy ladder.

Research Activity Our team conducted 18 semi-structured interviews with ILUMÉXICO customers in order to obtain feedback on the current solar cooler prototype designed by a team of Santa Clara University engineering students. Additionally, the interviews obtained possible positive impacts a solar cooler can have on customers’ lives.

Results All 18 individuals interviewed provided positive feedback on the design of the solar cooler prototype and said, if given the proper circumstances, they would use and buy the product, implying that ILUMÉXICO has a strong market opportunity to sell the solar cooler in Campeche.

Deliverable This report analyzes the collected data and illustrates the need for refrigeration in rural communities through a short story. It describes the potential benefits of selling a solar cooler in rural México, delineates the economic, health, and social impacts this product would have on customers if implemented, and provides suggestions for ILUMÉXICO’s next steps to bring the solar cooler to the market.

Recommendations Based on the research conducted, our team recommends that ILUMÉXICO conducts additional research on the user experience of the solar cooler through pilot programs and finds a manufacturer to mass-produce the product in order to conduct the pilot programs. By doing so, ILUMÉXICO will be able to bring this solar cooler to market.



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