Strathmore Solar Testing Laboratory (SSTL) is a quality assurance laboratory for solar PV products sponsored by GIZ. The laboratory tests solar PV modules, charge controllers, luminaires and batteries for pico PV systems and we are currently working towards being ISO 17025 accredited. Upon accreditation, the laboratory would be able to offer tests as per the international standard IEC/TS 62257-9-5.
We envision provision of global certification in conjunction with Kenya Bureau of Standards. We work together with Fraunhofer ISE Testing Laboratory in Germany, Schatz Energy Research Center in the USA, TERI Solar Lighting Laboratory in India, Lighting Global and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association. Other partners are Lighting Global and GOGLA.
In Kenya, we have partnered with the Kenya Renewable Energy Association to provide voluntary accreditation tests for private sector companies dealing with PV components.
Productive Use of Energy and Mini-Grids
SERC launched a Solar Water Pumping Course in March and since then, we have trained more than 50 professionals on its installation. We have partnered with a milling machine manufacturer and developed a solar powered milling machine. We also test the quality of bulbs in the markets to ensure users enjoy quality lighting. As a result, small business can now run for longer hours and children can study late into the night, indicating an incline in the quality of life. We are currently working on a water desalination project powered by solar in Kilifi County to ensure users get access to fresh water.
Integrated Energy Planning
SERC, being a research centre, has collaborated with several players in the energy sector and the academia to conduct research geared towards effective integrated energy planning. Through a variety of projects, SERC has put in place affordable, more reliable and environmentally friendly renewable energy solutions for communities in the most remote parts of our country and in informal settlements around the city. We aim to diversify supply sources by utilising the natural resources available in these areas while promoting energy access, efficiency and security and minimizing negative environmental impacts.
All the tests in the lab are carried out using calibrated testing equipment that meets the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 17025 standards. SERC works by the policies and regulations set out by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). KEBS is equally a close partner whom we make reference to in order to ensure that quality assurance is maintained as we carry out tests.
Renewable Energy Technologies
SSTL is keenly involved in solar energy technologies. However, recently, we incorporated wind energy at various capacities, including technical training sessions delivered to Vestus. We are also in the process of collaborating with a UK company on hydro power.