Understanding the Present and the Future Electricity Needs: Consequences for Design of Future Solar Home Systems for Off-Grid Rural Electrification

Thomas den Heeten, Nishant Narayan, Jan-Carel Diehl, Jeroen Verschelling, Sacha Silvester, Jelena Popovic, Pavol Bauer, Miro Zeman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


Solar Home Systems (SHSs) can fulfil the basic energy needs of the globally unelectrified population. With costs as one of the biggest barriers for SHS uptake, optimizing the system size with energy needs is crucial. Where most solutions focus only on the present needs, this work also addresses the future energy needs. The methodology includes extensive mapping of the current electricity needs in rural Cambodia through data analysis on existing SHSs in the field. Additionally, a 2-month field research was carried out in Cambodia to assess the qualitative state of electricity usage and investigate the future (2021) energy needs. A data analysis was performed on 111 SHSs (100 Wp, 1200 Wh).
SHS users were found to have a mean energy consumption of 310 Wh/day, with σ = 159 Wh. Most energy was consumed at night. The field research showed a clear demand for more energy and more appliances. The appliances attached to SHS in the future will be more diverse in power consumption and usage duration, resulting in a wide variety of energy consumption and high power peaks, causing fast and deep battery discharges. Three load profiles are presented. Solutions are discussed that can be applied to ensure the SHSs fit with future energy needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th Domestic Use of Energy Conference
Subtitle of host publicationTowards Sustainable Energy Solutions For The Developing World
Place of PublicationCapeTown, SA
PublisherCape Peninsula University of Technology
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9946759-2-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-6433-5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017
Event25th Domestic Use of Energy Conference: Towards Sustainable Energy Solutions for the Developing World - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 3 Apr 20175 Apr 2017
Conference number: 25


Conference25th Domestic Use of Energy Conference
Abbreviated titleDUE 2017
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • energy consumption
  • energy matching
  • load profile
  • low-income countries
  • solar home system
  • rural electrification


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