Most small social enterprises do not have R&D teams, and currently rely on manufacturer data on components for design of systems. But the claims don’t always match reality, leading to field issues. As a response the foundation is testing components to provide inputs for the purchase and design choices of our partners. The components we test include: panels, batteries, charge controllers, and inverters, among others.
To improve accuracy of tests the Technology Team uses simulators to replace system components. This reduces variables and helps analyse only the components we are interested in. The team has built simple but low-cost battery and panel simulators.
The data logging system used is being refined, and automation of tests is being looked at. To reduce resources required for testing, processes are being documented and refined such that future work can be done with minimal monitoring and training.