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Promoting battery testing in developing countries through development of a low-cost battery test system

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conference contribution
posted on 17.02.2022, 13:14 by Chrispin Mbewe, Richard BlanchardRichard Blanchard, Gianfranco ClaudioGianfranco Claudio, Martin BlissMartin Bliss, Nigel Monk, John BartonJohn Barton
Off-grid renewable energy electricity generation is a proven solution to meeting energy needs in situations such as a refugee camp and communities with no access to modern energy services. To overcome the problem of intermittence that is inherent in renewable energy resources, battery energy storage is used to store excess energy and release it when the renewable resource is insufficient. However, batteries, not only have a high upfront cost but are reported to be the leading cause of failure in renewable electricity generation systems. These are the major challenges facing low income countries in their efforts to increase access to clean energy. The situation requires a blend of localised solutions including meaningful battery testing that goes beyond measuring open circuit voltage which can only provide very limited information about performance and longevity of the batteries. Traditionally, battery test systems are expensive to buy, making it difficult for developing nations to actively participate in research by testing battery performance as well as help with detecting poor quality products that typically fail more quickly than expected. In this work, a low-cost battery test system was designed, developed, and implemented for lifecycle testing of three batteries at the same time.


MECS and JUICE Projects in Loughborough University

Commonwealth Scholarship Commission

Mzuzu University



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Published in

2021 IEEE International Humanitarian Technology Conference (IHTC)


2021 IEEE International Humanitarian Technology Conference (IHTC)




AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

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Event dates

2nd December 2021 - 4th December 2021


Mr Chrispin Gogoda Mbewe. Deposit date: 10 December 2021