Solar Home Systems (SHSs) have been proven widely as a solution for off-grid electrification at the household or single consumer level. To date, about 180 million standalone solar products have been sold in this market. SHSs range from few watts (pico-solar) to hundreds of watts (W) systems. However, smaller systems in the range of 10-30W dominate the market. Larger systems, however, now go to 200W providing flexibility to some level of productive use. The e4D research studies on the SHS sector focus on ‘how these can be optimised with efficient appliances’ to benefit the end user.

The e4D studies include quality aspects of PV modules, components (power electronics, charge regulators, batteries) and appliances (LED bulbs, refrigerators, TVs, cooling fans). Furthermore, we have developed our laboratory capacity to test small modules and components by mimicking the real environment of the products to be marketed and used.

The above research is augmented by studying water pumping for irrigation, ICT uses and small-scale refrigeration. Recent projects include the ‘Low cost, graduated PAYG solar home systems for Africa’ with the objectives of designing and developing an affordable, upgradeable pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home system (SHS) product line for off-grid households in Africa.


Updates:

6th Africa Mini Grids Summit 2021 2021

The 6th Africa Mini Grids Summit in Nairobi, Kenya is scheduled for the 25-26th February 2021 to discuss advancing successful mini grid and solar home systems in Africa.

ECCD contribute to UN75 Sustainable Engineering in Action book 2020

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj and Professor Patrick James from the Energy and Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton have contributed an article Power to the People: The mini-grid solution to rural electrification for the UN75: Sustainable Engineering in Action book, which marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

ECCD presents at the Beyond 2020, World Sustainable Built Environment Online Conference 2020

The Energy and Climate Change Division presented 3 papers at the Beyond 2020 World Sustainable Conference held between 2-4 November.

5th Africa mini-grid conference 2019, Ghana 2019

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj, head of  Energy and Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton chaired the 5th Africa Mini Grid Conference held in Ghana, June 2019.

Energy for Development Event 2019

Deployed e4D mini grids supply electricity 24/7 to businesses, health centres, schools, places of worship & households. All project are cooperatives, managed by elected members of the local communities. Performances remotely monitored by the e4D team in UK. For more information please download the latest e4D leaflet, or visit our project websites on: Fortis Unum project: https://www.energy.soton.ac.uk/fortis-unum2018/ Energy ...

FORTIS UNUM (Stronger As One): Clustering Mini-Grid Networks to Widen Energy Access and Enhance Utility Network Resilience 2018

FORTIS UNUM research will address in-situ mini grid system and networks connectivity and simulations in (i) isolated mini grid networks, (ii) mini grid networks connected to the national grid and (iii) multiple mini grid networks connected together and working jointly (clustered) and connected to the national grid.

DC mini grids 2017

This research project, which considered Sub-Saharan Africa proposes a DCMG platform to serve rural and remote areas beyond the utility grid. Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from such DC mini-grids have been studied and compared with equivalent AC mini-grids and diesel grids using HOMER micro-grid simulation.

Capacity Building in Energy Access and Energy Efficiency 2017

Newton Fund Institutional Links Grant between ECCD at the University of Southampton, and the Centre for Research in Energy Systems and Technologies (CREST) of the University of San Carlos aims to build capacity in energy efficiency and energy access.

Innovations in Solar Home Systems 2017

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.

Capacity in Research and Development Embedded in Case Studies Related to Energy in the Built Environment and for Rural Electrification 2017

This Newton Fund Institutional Links Grant between the Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) of the University of Southampton, and the Center for Research in Energy Systems and Technologies (CREST) of the University of San Carlos covers two areas: energy efficiency in buildings, and energy access (rural electrification). This report covers the preparatory work being done ...

University of Southampton projects on Africa rural electrification represented at 3rd International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference 2016

The University of Southampton’s Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) showcased their work in Energy for Development (e4D) at 3rd International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, on the 30th September and 1st October. The exhibition included displays, videos and information on the 6 mini-grid projects installed by SERG in Africa. IOREC ...

University of Southampton's Mini Grid Projects in Africa form a Central Part at 2nd African Mini Grid Summit 2015

The 2nd African Mini Grid Summit was launched today in Nairobi Kenya, with the aim of sharing experiences in mini grids especially those related to low carbon renewable energy schemes in Africa. The Summit held over the period 18 – 20 November 2015, will be attended by representatives from various African governments, academia, the private sector ...

Energy for Development holds 'Development and Mini-Grids in Rural Africa' conference in Nairobi, Kenya 2015

‘Development and Mini-Grids in Rural Africa’ was the first Energy for Development’s (e4D) dissemination conference successfully held 11 – 12 May 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference was well attended with over 110 registrants including academics, project developers, governmental officials, private sector contractors, students, project financiers as well as other stakeholders operating in the field ...

e4D – 'Development and Mini-Grids in Rural Africa' – Conference Report 2015

‘Development and Mini-Grid in Rural Africa’ was the Energy for Development’s (e4D) first dissemination conference successfully held 11 – 12 May 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference was well attended with over 130 registrants including academics, project developers, governmental officials, private sector contractors, students, project financiers as well as other stakeholders operating in the field of ...

Development & Minigrids Rural Africa Conference 2015

11th and 12th May 2015 As part of the Energy for Development programme, a two-day conference on “Development and Minigrids” – Rural Africa will be held in Nairobi on 11th and 12th May 2015. The purpose of the conference is to bring together active partners in the field and to disseminate the e4D work on Energy for ...

Prof Bahaj gives Lecture on Energy for Development at the Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah Saudi Arabia 2013

On Wednesday 17th July 2013, Professor AbuBakr Bahaj, head of the Sustainable Energy Research Group, attended an joint event in Saudi Arabia on; Community of Practice on Poverty Reduction Community of Practice on Infrastructure ISDF Knowledge Initiative for Poverty Reduction Professor Bahaj gave a lecture at the event on ‘A New Approach to Energy for Development‘, speaking about the ...

Two New Villages set for Electrification 2013

The villages of Bambouti in Cameroon and Oloika in Kenya’s rift valley are set for electrification through PV array’s by the E4D team and partners. Baseline data has been collected and the villages will undergo installation in the coming months. Oloika, Kenya On a recent trip to Kenya, the E4D team, along with members of Kenya’s Rural ...

Lecture 30th May 2013: A New Approach to Energy for Development 2013

Thursday 30 May 2013 Room 1027/Building 67 Highfield Campus Doors open 17.30 Lecture begins 18.00 – no admittance after 18.00 Refreshments will be served in the foyer from 17.30 onwards Speaker: Prof. AbuBakr Bahaj, BSc, PhD, FICE, FRSA Head of Energy & Climate Change Division Faculty of Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton To date it is estimated ...

Energy for Development Network 2013

The Energy for Development Network aims to combine these three key components to develop appropriate, replicable models for energy systems that recognize the socio-economic and financial, as well as technical aspects of supplying energy.

Sustainable Thermal Energy Service Partnerships 2013

This research will study applicable energy conversion and end-use application technologies, analyse institutional arrangements, develop business and enterprise models which needs to be implemented to promote thermal energy services in rural areas developing countries The research will analyse the respective role of government and private partners to form Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) models for energy services like ...

Energy for Development project installs 13.5 KW solar plant in Kenya 2012

The Energy for Development project has successfully completed the installation of the 13.5 KW solar plant in the rural Kenyan village Kitonyoni. The project addresses the electricity needs of rural communities in East Africa and addresses the fundamental scientific, engineering, social and policy research issues in rural power generation and distribution, transferring knowledge between participating countries ...