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< prev - next > Energy Solar energy solar pv energy (Printable PDF)
Solar photovoltaic energy
Practical Action
pumping and automated feeding systems on fish farms:
solar water heater circulation pumps:
boat / ship power:
vehicle battery trickle chargers:
earthquake monitoring systems:
emergency power for disaster relief.
Other issues
Local assembly of PV modules and BOS components
While generally it is only the larger developing countries which have capacity to manufacture solar
cells, it is increasingly common for assembly of the module and the balance of system (BOS)
components in many developing countries. This not only reduces the overall cost of the system, but
creates local employment and ensures that the systems are designed for local applications.
Solar co-operative for Bangladeshi women
The consultancy Prokaushali Sangsad Limited (PSL) realised the need for both good quality
lighting and employment for unskilled women on the remote island of Char Montaz in Bangladesh.
They set up the Coastal Electrification and Women's Development Co-operative (CEWDC). The 35
co-operative members assemble photovoltaic solar home systems and sell them to island families,
and also run a battery charging service.
Solar home systems (SHS) are small, stand-alone electrical systems. They consist of a
photovoltaic (PV) module; a re-chargeable battery; a charge controller, which prevents the battery
from being over-charged or deep-discharged; fluorescent lamps rated from 6 to 11 W; wiring and
fixtures. The PV modules, are rated at 20 to 80 Wp with 50 Wp the most popular size. A system
based on a 20 Wp module can supply two or three 6 W lamps for about four hours per day: at the
other end of the range, an 80Wp system can power four 8 W lamps and a black and white
television set.
Source: Ashden Awards for Sustainable Development
Dissemination to remote areas
When disseminating solar PV to remote locations, it is important that there is sufficient engineering
capacity in the area to supply, install and maintain the solar systems. In addition, in low-income
areas, micro credit is an important element of a dissemination programme, to allow the cost of the
system to be paid back by sales over a period of time.
Solar energy to meet basic needs in the Himalayas
Over the past 10 years pioneering project has been introducing solar technology to remote and
inaccessible villages in the Himalayas. Run by the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India, the
project has shown that with appropriate training, poor and rural communities can install solar
equipment in their villages and then maintain it without any further external help. The project
has trained illiterate and semi-literate villagers as 'Barefoot Solar Engineers', (BSEs) at its
Barefoot College. After the training, they return to their home villages to install solar units and
provide their communities with a skilled and competent repair and maintenance service.
Source: Ashden Trust Awards for Sustainable Energy
Hybrid systems
Solar PV can be used in conjunction with other energy technologies to provide an integrated, flexible
system for remote power generation. These systems are referred to as hybrid systems. Common
configurations of hybrid systems include a solar PV array, wind generator and diesel generator set
which would allow generation in all weather conditions. Such systems need careful planning.