Modular Solar Home System for low-income households in developing nations

Themes: Social Impact, Energy

Basic research

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Solar Home Systems (SHS) for developing countries are usually designed for moderate (< 100 Wp) and present loads. In time the people’s energy needs increase, rapidly outgrowing the installed SHS’s peak capacity.


Therefore, a modular SHS is proposed, which can enable scaling up of the system within a household, while households can also be connected together into a bottom-up micro-grid. This will support an increased peak capacity.


First step is to develop the modular architecture that can support the scale-up, along with the associated power electronics that enable increased and variable capacity and power sharing. A first field test is expected in 2018.

Nishant Narayan MSc


Prof. dr. eng. Pavol Bauer

Dr. ir. Jan-Carel Diehl