RFQ3-16

Laboratory Testing for Off-Grid Refrigerators

Introduction

CLASP is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the environmental and energy performance of the appliances and related systems we use every day, lessening their impacts on people and the world around us. CLASP develops and shares transformative policy and market solutions in collaboration with global experts and local stakeholders.

CLASP serves as the Operating Agent for the several programs of the Global Lighting & Energy Access Partnership(Global LEAP), an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) to catalyze and support commercial markets that deliver clean energy access products and services to un- and under-electrified communities throughout the developing world. Global LEAP does this by developing product quality assurance frameworks, promoting demand-side super-efficiency, and encouraging collaboration among donors and other institutions.

To support current and future programmatic efforts, and the development of the global off-grid appliance market, Global LEAP is developing off-grid appliance test methods. To gauge the costs and feasibility of these methods, CLASP is soliciting off-grid refrigerator[1] testing cost estimates from qualified laboratories

Several Global LEAP programs will require a significant amount of laboratory testing over the next several years, and laboratories that respond to this Request for Quotation will be shortlisted for the forthcoming testing activities. Information related to the background, test parameters and methods, submittals, and timeline for this RFQ is provided below.


[1] Off-grid refrigerators refers to products that are intended for use on, and/or compatible with, off-grid energy systems (e.g. low-voltage DC systems, AC or DC mini-grids).

Background

Refrigerators are very transformational and can offer substantial health benefits to off-grid regions. Therefore, they are considered as one of the key off-grid appliances that accelerate markets for off-grid clean energy systems. However, the off-grid refrigerator present significant technical challenges to off-grid energy systems since their operation can be energy-intensive – as such, the cost of owning a refrigerator is too high for most of off-grid consumers. Another key challenge to the off-grid refrigerators market, and thus to related energy access goals, is the damage to the market caused by low-quality, energy-inefficient, cost-ineffective products. Such products spoil the end-user experience, creating another barrier to market development.

To enable market actors to make consistent comparison and evaluation of off-grid refrigerators, Global LEAP is collaborating with off-grid energy industry stakeholders, appliance manufacturers, policymakers and test facilities to develop a test method to evaluate off-grid refrigerators based on quality, durability, energy performance, off-grid appropriateness, and other product characteristics. Once established, this test method will be utilized by the Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards program and other Global LEAP market transformation programs. It also will be made available to off-grid industry and policy stakeholders.

Robust laboratory testing ensures product performance lives up to the energy efficiency and quality claims of manufacturers and is a best practice, especially in nascent markets. However, the cost of laboratory testing is often a barrier for off-grid market stakeholders. As part of the test method development effort, Global LEAP works to ensure that testing costs are appropriate and affordable for off-grid market stakeholders. To this end, CLASP is requesting detailed quotes – with line item cost breakdowns for each referenced test method (as listed below) – from qualified test laboratories.

Test Parameters and Methods

The Global LEAP off-grid refrigerator test method heavily leverages two existing widely-used international test methods:

  • WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4: Refrigerator or combined refrigerator and water-pack freezer: Solar direct drive without battery storage, and 
  • IEC62552: Household refrigerating appliances – Characteristics and test methods.

The detailed parameters, referenced test methods and notes and modifications are provided in Table 1, below.

CLASP is seeking test laboratory’s input and feedback on the design, feasibility, and workability of the preliminary test method and where testing time and costs may be adjusted to ensure affordability and efficiency of off-grid refrigerator testing. 

Table 1: Test Parameters and Referenced Test Method

Parameters

Referenced Test Method

 Time Duration

Metrics

Visual Inspection/Type Examination

WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4 Clause 5.3.2

 n/a
  • Record observations of performance characteristics, physical characteristics, materials and construction, warranty, etc. 

Cool-down (pull-down) and power consumption test

WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4 Clause 5.3.4

 At least 24 hours to achieve stabilization
+
24 hours to monitor the performance
  • Internal temperature (oC, measured every minute)
  • Energy consumption (kWh/day)
  • Percentage on-time over the 12 hour solar phase (%)
  • Solar power system voltage (V)
  • Amperage (A)
  • Solar profile
  • Time required to achieve to cool down (hours or minutes)

Stable running and power consumption test

WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4 Clause 5.3.5

 24 hours
  • Internal temperature (oC, measured every minute)
  • Energy consumption (kWh/day)
  • Percentage on-time over the 12 hour solar phase (%)
  • Solar power system voltage (V)
  • Amperage (A)
  • Solar profile

Autonomy and power consumption test

WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4 Clause 5.3.8

 12 hours
+
At least 24 hours autonomy, subjects to stakeholder discussion
  • Energy consumption (kWh/day)
  • Percentage on-time over the 12 hour solar phase (%)
  • Graphically display on/off cycles
  • Internal temperature (oC, measured every minute)
  • Autonomy period (hours)

Door opening test

WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4 Clause 5.3.10

 10 minutes for door opening
+
Cool-down time
+
2 hours of monitoring time if the internal temperature drops below 0oC (but above -0.5 oC )
  • Internal temperature (oC, measured every minute)

Minimum rated ambient temperature test

WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4 Clause 5.3.11

 24 hours for stabilization
+
24 hours for each 5 oC temperature increment (or decrement)
  • Internal temperature (oC, measured every minute)

Annex A: Test load packages

IEC 62552-1 Annex C

 n/a
  • n/a

Annex B: Loading instructions for test load packages

IEC 62552-2 Section 6.3.3.3.

 n/a
  • n/a

Additional information on the proposed test method for off-grid refrigerators is available upon request.

Submittal

Laboratories that wish to respond to this RFQ must first register as a CLASP Implementing Partner.

Registration is easy, and must be completed via the CLASP website before final submittal.

Applicants are required to submit one file with required information as listed below. The file should be named as per the following example: “Organization Name: RFP3-16

The quotation for off-grid refrigerator testing must include the following elements:

  • Test laboratory profile, including ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and a summary of qualifications relevant to this assignment:
    • WHO/PQS/E003/RF05-VP.4
    • IEC62552
  • A summary of regional presence, especially in Africa and Asia, and related experiences of conducting testing for refrigerators or off-grid products, including any experience in round robin testing. 
  • A summary of qualifications of key personnel that will be engaged in test, along with a description of each person’s role
  • Detailed cost estimate (in US Dollars) outlining testing cost for one sample and ten samples respectively, as well as the time required to complete each test, as specified in the table below.
  • A list of recommendations or suggestions on any modification that CLASP should make to the test method in order for the tests to run more efficiently and cost-effectively. 

Parameter/Test

Estimates for One Samples

Estimates for Ten Samples

Cost (USD)

Time

(Hours)

Cost (USD)

Time

(Hours)

Visual Inspection/Type Examination

Cool-down (pull-down) and power consumption test

Stable running and power consumption test

Autonomy and power consumption test

Door opening test

Minimum rated ambient temperature test

Total

Timeline

The deadline for quotation and feedback submission is September 12, 2016. Quotations must be submitted online via the CLASP website using the “Submit Bid” button above and filling out all the requested information. Late or incomplete quotations or quotations submitted directly to anyone at CLASP will not be accepted.

All questions may be addressed to Elisa Lai at elai@clasp.ngo. The last date for submission of questions related to this RFQ is September 2, 2016. We request all inquiries be made by email and not by phone.

Information for Potential Applicants

Confidentiality Statement

All data and information received from Global LEAP designees, CLASP, appliance manufacturers, or other off-grid clean energy access industry stakeholders for the purpose of this assignment are to be treated confidentially and are only to be used in connection with the execution of this assignment. All intellectual property rights arising from the execution of this assignment are assigned to Global LEAP donors and their designees. The contents of data sets or written materials obtained and used in this assignment may not be reused or disclosed to any third parties without the expressed advance written authorization of Global LEAP designees.