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Off-grid electrification with solar home systems: An appraisal of the quality of components

Chowdhury, Shahriar Ahmed and Mourshed, Monjur 2016. Off-grid electrification with solar home systems: An appraisal of the quality of components. Renewable Energy 97 , pp. 585-598. 10.1016/j.renene.2016.06.017

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Solar home systems (SHS) are seen as an attractive option for off-grid electrification in rural areas in developing countries. The combined effect of declining photovoltaic module costs and success in micro-finance has resulted in increased SHS installations in emerging economies in Asia such as Bangladesh. Majority of the SHS components are now manufactured locally with the exception of PV cells. Considering the role of component quality in SHS performance, technical quality of four key SHS components: solar panel, battery, charge controller and lamp circuit (inverter) from market-leading manufacturers were evaluated in this study in laboratory settings, against national and international standards. All of the tested components met some evaluation criteria in their respective categories but none met all. Key performance failures were found to be related to inverter efficiency, reverse polarity protection in charge controllers and battery capacity, which are critical for optimum performance of the system. Findings in this study point towards an ineffective regulatory mechanism for quality assurance and the protection of consumer rights, which needs to be rectified for maintaining public confidence and sustaining the growth of SHS based off-grid electrification.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Solar home system (SHS); Component quality; Solar photovoltaic (PV) panel; Battery; Charge controller; Bangladesh This journal has an embargo period of 24 months
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0960-1481
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 6 June 2016
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 18:10

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