Improving Lab Testing Capacity in Africa
From May 23 to June 10, 2022, VeraSol delivered the in-person segment of a training held at the University of Nairobi (UoN) in Kenya to update and increase the current test lab capacity for testing to IEC TS 62257‐9‐5:2018 (Ed. 4) and IEC TS 62257‐9‐8:2020. The training is the final of three training sessions conducted in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the UK aid’s Africa Clean Energy Technical Assistance Facility (ACE TAF) program. The training enabled four new/updated solar testing labs in the Sub-Saharan Africa region to perform testing on solar energy systems up to 350 Watts:
- Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON)
- Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS)
- Ethiopia Conformity Assessment Enterprise (ECAE)
- University of Nairobi Lighting Lab (UoN-LL)
The in-person segment of the training was a joint session for both UoN-LL and ECAE. The three-week in-person training included: hands-on experience performing the test methods, setting up equipment, analysing data, and reporting. VeraSol is currently finalizing the remote segment of the training for ECAE and continues to provide remote training support upon the completion of full training.
The UoN lighting lab has been operational since 2010 and was previously trained to IEC 62257-9-5:2016 (Ed. 3) – like ECAE, which trained to the third edition of IEC’s test methods. The joint session allowed both labs to move forward and begin testing to IEC TS 62257‐9‐5:2018 (Ed. 4) while also creating laboratory solar testing capacity in East Africa. All in all, this work will increase the adoption of the quality assurance framework, protect consumers from poor quality solar products, and prevent market spoilage throughout sub-Saharan Africa.