Quality control in the design, procurement and installation of PV systems are critical for their performance.
The Nigerian market is currently being flooded by several solar products from different suppliers. What measures are taken to ensure that these products are properly certified and labelled? How can a consumer know which products are suited to their specific needs? What about the use of second hand products?
There are a number of instances where consumers simply want a quick and cheap solution to get power supply, not minding the quality and reliability of the products. We have heard of several cases where the systems stopped working within months after installation. These are issues that stain the reputation of solar, thereby leading to a distrust of the viability of this technology. It is therefore critical that solar power systems are correctly designed, the right components procured and the installation carefully done to high standards. The maintenance should be minimal, just with regular cleaning of the panels so that it can capture as much energy from the sun as possible. As the market is growing, appropriate standards and best practices should be put in place to address these issues and create awareness for suppliers, installers and consumers alike.
One important development for the future would be remote monitoring and smart energy management for best performance of assets. We shall address this at a later post.