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Technical appraisal of solar home systems in Bangladesh: A field investigation

Chowdhury, Shahriar A., Mourshed, Monjur, Kabir, S. M. R., Islam, Moududul, Morshed, Tanvir, Khan, M. Rezwan and Patwary, Mohammad N. 2011. Technical appraisal of solar home systems in Bangladesh: A field investigation. Renewable Energy 36 (2) , pp. 772-778. 10.1016/j.renene.2010.07.027

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Solar Home System (SHS) based rural electrification has experienced a considerable growth in Bangladesh since the start of the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Project (REREDP) in 2003. The initial target of 50,000 SHS installations in off-grid areas was achieved within 2.5 years, 3 years ahead of schedule. After achieving a revised target of 200,000 SHSs, ahead of schedule in early 2009, a new target of 1 million SHS installations by 2012 was set. The installation of about 0.5 million systems by March 2010 indicates that the current target may well be achieved before the deadline. The size of the SHS market and its impact on the regeneration of the rural economy make it necessary to investigate the quality and reliability of the installed SHSs, if the continued success of the initiative is to be maintained. This paper reports on the findings from a field-based technical appraisal of SHS installations in Bangladesh. Sixty geographically dispersed installation sites were visited. Physical characteristics of the SHSs and their system components were tested to ascertain compliance with and deviations from the approved specifications. Despite the overwhelming success of the REREDP project, the study revealed various shortcomings. Notable among these are: incompatible and sub-optimal component configurations, faulty installations and a lack of effective quality assurance mechanism. The findings are contextualized and the ways to address the identified shortcomings are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Solar home system (SHS); Technical appraisal; Bangladesh; Field investigation
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0960-1481
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:42

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