ECN publication
Improving the availability of PV-systems at South African schools and clinics
Published by: Publication date:
ECN 1-10-2001
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--01-049 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: 17th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Munich, Germany, 22-26 oktober 2001.

Since 1994 three independent programmes on PV electrification of rural schools and clinics were executed in South Africa. In total 2340 schools and 200 clinics were provided with solar PV systems. No publicly available evaluation of these programmes exists and the general impression was that these programmes were not without problems. This article describes a study in which a representative sample of the installed systems was visited and evaluated on technical performance aspects. From the study it can be concluded that the technical performance of the installed systems is not optimal, mainlycaused by theft of panels and batteries, and due to technical problems. The focus of the programmes has been too much on the quantity of systems delivered instead of the quality of the systems. To increase sustainability, more emphasis needs to be placed on the provision of electricity to the schools and clinics covering the lifespan of the system.

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