Charge controller technology has seen a lot of development as the pace of deployment of solar power has accelerated worldwide for on-grid and off-grid applications. Any time batteries are used for storing energy, these controllers are used for ensuring that batteries are properly charged and do not get damaged due to overcharging, and to prevent accidental discharge. Multiple configuration are possible with temperature compensation and status monitoring. Simple designs work based on a transistor circuit with a shunt to open or close the circuit at preset levels. More sophisticated designs work off of pulse width modulation (PWM) or MPPT (maximum power point tracking) logic. The intent of this project is to do a market and needs assessment related to charge controllers available in Pakistan.
The output of this project is a report covering the following areas:
- Survey of charge controllers brands used in Pakistan. Price, performance and salient features.
- Price trends of controllers in Pakistan in recent years, from major retailers. Aftermarket and resale pricing and quality.
- Wholesale pricing , as well as price quoted by the manufacturers, as a function of volume
- Major retailers active in Pakistan
- Government regulations and tariffs related to importation and resale.
- Feedback from people currently using inverters for solar power.
- Opportunities for local manufacturing and assembly
- Acquire three different charge controllers suitable for the home solar kit project and disassemble them to determine opportunities for lowering costs through local assembly.
- Status and focus of organizations – government-based, universities and private – working to advance rechargeable battery technology and deployment in Pakistan.
- Share of various technologies e.g. lead acid, lithium ion etc.
- Opportunity and challenges related to repair, disposal and recycling
- Other global factors regarding manufacturing, supply and technology that may be relevant to Pakistan
This project is intended to run for about four months from Jan 2016 to Jun 2016. The will be a status update provided every two weeks, an intermediate report in early November, and final report at the end of the year. A summarized version of the report will be published on this website, and the full document posted for downloading.
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