Abstract: The installation of Photovoltaic (PV) solar systems in institutions as well as homesteads in the rural areas in Kenya is increasing at a high rate; and so is the need for the stake holders to make sure the PV solar systems are professionally designed, sized, installed and maintained. In PV solar system installation, the designing, sizing and the installation are very critical steps. A wrongly designed, sized and installed system will not perform optimally and will underperform (for undersized systems) and waste energy and resources (for oversized systems). Furthermore, undersized systems do not perform to the userís expectation discouraging the user and eventually a negative customer attitude creeps in which may affect the uptake of solar PV systems. On the other hand, an oversized PV system is extra expense on the side of the client, creating an exaggerated high cost of PV solar systems, again discouraging potential clients from the adoption of the technology. Both scenarios mean loss of business, jobs and the economic and social benefits associated with PV technology. We present a case study of poorly installed PV systemsin Makueni County, Kenya. We observed that the solar modules specifications at the back of the modules were not clearly done, the batteries were poorly matched and the cables used in the installation were undersized. Due to these issues, even a normal television set was not able to work since the system was installed four years ago (in 2012).The above case emphasizes the need for training in PV solar system design, sizing, installation, and maintenance.
Keywords: Photovoltaic (PV), modules, solar system, Installation, training, professional