Study of Design Intervention for Discrete Off-Grid Photovoltaic Home System in Rural Lifestyle Context
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For a developing country like India, which currently has more than 239 million people without access to energy, propagation of decentralized energy utility especially solar photovoltaics is of utmost importance, as the country has enormous potential for it. The existing literature emphasized the need for energy research towards energy systems in a broader socio-cultural context. Due to ‘top-down’ approach for the dissemination of decentralized energy, design and technology aspects never recognized the needs of rural society leading to the failure of most of existing decentralized energy applications and programs in regional context of northeast India. Thus, there exists an opportunity to bridge the gap between rural photovoltaic utility and shaping its social relevance with product design intervention. This doctoral study aimed to build the impetus of research to look into the design and development of a discrete off-grid photovoltaic system considering local imperative needs in the context of the rural background of northeast India. Study deliberates the scope to facilitate the productive usage of photovoltaic energy through design intervention. To achieve the research objectives we set to explore, design, and develop different aspects of the discrete off-grid solar photovoltaic home system considering inter-household energy exchange, and household enterprise productivity in a localized context to assess the impact of proposed design intervention in the context of a rural lifestyle with specific reference to the northeast region of India.
Supervisor: Debkumar Chakrabarti