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Energy and Resources Group|
University of California, Berkeley
Policy (STEP) Program
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and
Energy Alternatives AFRICA (EAA)|
The work described here is from a joint project between RAEL and Energy Alternatives AFRICA (EAA) of Nairobi, Kenya. The project was made possible with generous funding from the Dexter Trust. In this project we evaluated the performance and condition of single junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) modules used in PV systems installed in Kenya, and used this opportunity to provide additional training and market analysis opportunities for local East African renewable energy entrepreneurs. We carefully surveyed a-Si PV systems and measured PV module performance in each site. We analyzed the data in order to establish the survival rate and performance of a-Si modules in field operating conditions and to identify equipment and institutional options that could benefit the private PV industry and the end-user community in East Africa. We are sharing the results with solar rural electrification projects, manufacturers, dealers and end-users as well as the international development community through publications, correspondence, and regional workshops.
This project meets three key needs in the emerging market for solar home systems: (1) an immediate need for accurate information on photovoltaic home system performance both as the systems age and as a way to compare actual versus advertised performance; (2) provides a field-based collaborative training opportunity for local entrepreneurs, emerging researchers, and community participants; and (3) more generally, this work provides a tested model for the evaluation of system performance that can be adapted and adopted by PV programs worldwide.
A second phase of this project will be to integrate the system performance data into a larger study to evaluate the future of public sector, multinational donor, and private-sector photovoltaic commercialization.
David Khisa of EAA testing an a-Si PV module
Maina Mumbi, freelance rural technician,
installing an a-Si PV module
RAEL and Energy Alternatives AFRICA (EAA) recently co-hosted a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya entitled, "Workshop on Small Solar Electric Systems: Market Opportunities in East Africa," on January 18, 2000. Arne Jacobson, a Ph.D. student in RAEL, presented a paper on the performance of amorphous silicon PV modules in Kenya.
Support for this project has been provided by:
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Last updated 10/5/2000