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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Innovations in Solar Home Systems

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This project investigated a new upgradeable SHS for rural electrification with the key objectives of designing and developing an affordable and modular pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home system (SHS) product line for off-grid households in Africa.

Solar systems

ECCD successfully completed the research project, ‘Low cost, graduated PAYG solar home systems for Africa’. This project investigated a new upgradeable SHS for rural electrification with the key objectives of designing and developing an affordable and modular pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home system (SHS) product line for off-grid households in Africa. Through this project analysis of a wide range of SHS and appliances were undertaken including a range of LED bulbs, lead acid batteries and some other DC appliances (refrigerator, LED TV and fan) in the laboratory.

Project partner conducted alpha and beta field tests on at least 400 units spanning three tiers of SHS’s (10W; 30W and 50W) in Africa and commenced accelerated life tests. The project also undertaken a feasibility study into the productive use of power and end-use combinations for different business applications of power encompassing:

  • Analysis of potential businesses needs and ability to pay.
  • Creation of a business plan for the end users.
  • Optimised specification of the power systems and end-use equipment.
  • Develop new business model to support productive uses of SHS.

 

Related research groups

Energy and Climate Change
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