Quality Assurance Framework for Component-Based Energy Systems

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These three documents describe a globally-applicable quality assurance (QA) framework for component-based solar home systems by outlining procedures and requirements that a host country can implement to support the design, procurement, and construction of component-based systems.

A component-based solar energy system is a system where the individual components, including a solar module, solar array frame, solar charge controller, battery, inverter, and all balance-of-system-equipment (cables, switches, protection devices)- are sourced as individual products or pre-wired combinations of products which a company installs for clients as a system. Plug-and-play solar home systems, defined as a complete PV system which can be self-installed by the client, are not covered by this framework. The VeraSol certification program covers Plug-and-play solar home systems but does not include component-based systems due to the complexity of designing and installing component-based solar systems.

The QA Framework for Component-based Systems is divided into three documents that describe the program:

The first is the QA Framework Overview which:

  • outlines the basic structure of the program
  • identifies key government agencies and divides responsibilities between government stakeholders and project developers
  • envisions licensing and other company qualification requirements for project implementers
  • lists the specific testing and certification requirements for system components
  • establishes a complaint resolution process and other procedures to promote the sustainability of the program

The second document is the System Design Guidelines, which provides detailed education and instruction on the necessary elements that comprise a comprehensive off-grid energy system design.

The third document is the System Installation Guidelines, which includes construction details, wiring, and other physical infrastructure requirements.

These documents are derived from a quality assurance framework prepared for the Government of Uganda by Global Sustainable Energy Solutions (GSES) and were edited by staff at the Schatz Energy Research Center and Kevin Gauna (Sunbrothers) to produce a framework that was more widely applicable across multiple countries and programs.