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ECN publication
Life-cycle analysis and optimisation of solar home systems : interim report over 1999 of ENGINE project 74513
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-6-2000
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--00-047 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
34 Download PDF  

This report describes the activities and outcomes of the first six monthsof the three-year ENGINE project Life-Cycle Analysis and Optimisation of Solar Home Systems (project number: 74513). The whole project is divided into four main activities that cover different perspectives of the use of solar PV equipment by households: monitoring of solar home systems, conducting a household survey, socio-economic and institutional analysis and lifetime tests of PV equipment. In this phase of the project we focussed on hardware development for a data acquisition system, on preparation of a survey questionnaire and on general socio-economic and institutional aspects of solar home system programmes. An analysis was made of experiences with data loggers for solar home systems. Furthermore, a prototype was developed of a small data logger. After testing the prototype it was concluded to postpone further development activities and rely for the near future on equipment that is readily available on the market. Several versions of an advanced user interface were tested. Improvements were discussed with the manufacturer, AME. Until now the modifications have not yet resulted in a version that can be tested in the field. As preparation for the household survey, which will take place parallel to the monitoring, a first draft questionnaire bas been formulated. This needs to be expanded to include questions regarding lifecycle, socio-economic and institutional aspects. Zimbabwe bas been selected to conduct the household survey and the monitoring. The socio-economic impacts discussed in this study deal with improvement of the quality of life, the stimulation of commercial activity and associated employment and getting acquainted with electricity. In the first phase of this project, the preparations have been made for the experimental work in the next phase. We are ready to start survey and monitoring work soon. 15 refs.

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