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close this bookPhotovoltaic Household Electrification Programs - Best Practices (WB)
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Other technical considerations

7.26 Spare Parts. Fuses, light bulbs and other spare parts that need to be replaced frequently should be available locally from a dealer accessible to users. The minimum quantity of spares that should be stocked depends on the number of systems in the area and the location of distributors. Table 7-1 lists the recommended minimum number of spare parts for a local cooperative in Indonesia that serves 20~2,000 consumers.

Table 7-1. Suggested Spare Parts List for a Cooperative in Indonesia

Item

Recommended Quantity of Locally Stocked Spares

Photovoltaic Module

1 per 250 systems

Charge Regulator

10 per 250 systems

Battery

250 per 250 systems spread out over the 2nd and 3d year after installation

Wire, Connectors, Tape

50m wire and 50 connectors (varies with village ability to purchase additional appliances)

Lamp Ballast

25 per 250 systems

7.27 Battery Recycling. High priority should be given to battery recycling in order to minimize environmental contamination and safeguard users. Recycling is most effective in organized programs led by an ESCO or an intermediary. Current battery-recycling programs in the four country solar home system programs reviewed show mixed results. As part of the Solar Energy Program in the Philippines, NEA-GTZ introduced a successful battery-recycling scheme that allowed users to exchange old batteries (for which the manufacturer paid $4.00) through the rural electric cooperative. In West Java, Indonesia, old batteries are collected from each house and recycled by independent operators, who pay householders $2.50 per battery. (However, battery recycling is rare in other parts of Indonesia, where batteries are used less widely and transporting them is difficult.) In Sri Lanka, batteries can be taken to a dealer or a recharging center for recycling, but many users consider the recycling payment, which was about $1.00, too low to warrant returning the old batteries. To increase the volume of battery recycling, the payment was recently doubled. While there is no comprehensive battery-recycling program in the Dominican Republic, it is estimated that about 50 percent of the batteries are recycled.

7.28 Warranties. The four country case studies show that ten-year performance warranties for modules are commonly available from many suppliers and should be required in a solar home system program. Warranties for controllers and other electronic components may range from three months to three years and those for batteries from one year (for automotive batteries) to three years (for deep-cycle batteries). Overall system warranties are also offered for up to one year. However, realistic provisions for enforcing warranties must be in place in order to protect consumers.