Field test: PV Modules

A real world comparison between Mono, Poly, PERC and Dual PV Modules.

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Installation date: 09-03-2020

* This is a field test and the results are specific for this installation on this location please research which is the best solution for your own situation as the results can be different based on environmental influences.

Total solar yield as of 27/03/2023 when the results were reset:
Mono: 9158 kWh
Split-cell: 9511 kWh
Poly: 9113 kWh
Perc: 9471 kWh
Perc-east: 1970 kWh
Perc-west: 1730 kWh


Maybe like me you are constantly surprised by the extent and diversity of sponsorship projects that Victron Energy are involved with. Some projects are simply charitable and for good causes, others are all about investing in the technicians of the future. This project seems to contain all these factors.

IMAGINE LIGHT, in Ecuador’s Amazon, is a project which has been instigated and implemented by LOVE FOR LIFE®  with the help of a variety of sponsors, which includes Victron Energy. In principal this project is all about empowering a total of 44 families (from five rainforest communities) by supplying them with solar powered lighting systems.

Victron Energy are delighted to have had their part to play in this and we’d like to thank the LOVE FOR LIFE® team for this guest blog and their wonderful photographs. Thanks also to Bob Hopman of Victron Energy for making me aware of this project.

The blog text is by Julia Bär and Cristina Arau. Photographs are by Hanna Witte. I hope you enjoy their blog as much as I have. It is verbatim and a German version is available upon request, as are some additional photographs. It’s been so hard to choose which ones to include – they are all excellent!

John Rushworth

IMAGINE LIGHT in Ecuador’s Amazon

_MG_3150_Taining Solar-Techniker

Home to one of the most important and bio-diverse ecosystems on our planet, Ecuador’s northern Amazon rainforest faces grave threats to its survival due to widespeard resource exploitation. Driven by the reserves of crude oil, timber and African palm, and agricultural settlement, large-scale industry’ presence in the area threatens the survival of both the region’s unique ecosystems as well as the cultural survival of the indigenous nationalities, including the Cofán, Secoya, Siona and Waorani, who have inhabited these forests for thousands of years.

Four Peoples, one Mission

These four ancestral indigenous nationalities have recently united in a unique alliance, the mission of which it is to build an indigenous-led movement for the cultural survival and rainforest protection in Ecuador’s northern Amazon. They named their alliance Ceibo and thus named it after the biggest tree in the Amazon rainforest, a giant that is holy to the indigenous peoples.

Ceibo Baum im nordöstlichen Amazonas von Ecuador

The German non-profit organization LOVE FOR LIFE ( is supporting the mission of the four indigenous nationalities and, together with them, is realising the solar energy project IMAGINE LIGHT: the humanitarian project enables the indigenous nationalities to have access to clean and independent solar energy and thus to a sustainable and self-determined development and supports them in their role as guardians of one of our planet’s last natural treasures.

Solarprojekt IMAGINE LIGHT_Solaranlage bei Nacht in der Cofán-Gemeinde Bavoroe im Amazonas

Supported by Victron Energy, in the pilot project of IMAGINE LIGHT a total of 44 families from five rainforest communities were supplied with solar systems in spring 2016. Thereby sustainable possibilities for development in the areas of education, health, food security, the right to self-determination, climate and environmental protection as well as the empowerment of women were created. For all these areas sustainable access to clean energy is an important catalyst.

Solarprojekt IMAGINE LIGHT_NACHER_Waorani Gemeinde Kiwaru im Amazonas

Transport and Training of the Technicians

Solarprojekt IMAGINE LIGHT_Kanutransport der Materialien zu der Cofán-Gemeinde Bavoroe im Amazonas

The technical components for IMAGINE LIGHT were shipped from Germany to Ecuador and transported in canoes and small airplanes from the oil city of Lago Agrio in Ecuador’s northeast to partly very remote communities in the rainforest by means of an enormous effort of the target group.

Solarprojekt IMAGINE LIGHT_Kanutransport der Solarmodule zu der Cofán-Gemeinde Ukavati im Amazonas

One part of the material remained in LOVE FOR LIFE’s headquarter until the installation in the villages in order to charge the batteries after the long storage and transport period. Additionally, all electronic components (like the BlueSolar MPPT charge controller 100/30, Phoenix inverter 350 W, Battery Protect, monitoring systems/BMV 700, switch cabinets, cables, and installation materials, etc.) were stored in the headquarters as they were used for an intensive training of the future indigenous solar technicians prior to the installation period.

_MG_3205_Trainings Solar-Techniker Knowledge Boards

Solarprojekt IMAGINE LIGHT_Training der Solar-Techniker

Part of the training was the installation and the cabling of the components in the switch cabinets, so that these were completely pre-installed when they went on their journey to the communities to be only plugged in and connected to panels, batteries and LED lights.

_MG_3287_Training Solar-Technician & Pre-Installation

The nine-day training of the indigenous solar technicians was led by the organization’s solar engineer. It presented a didactic challenge for the international team as a huge amount of knowledge and complex connections wanted to be taught and processed in an ideal way in order to give the technicians sound training and to guarantee secure and; in future, independent handling of the solar systems. Already in the preparations to the implementation training measures for the custom-developed solar systems were designed so that a maximum of practical content, hands-on elements and “learning by doing“ sequences were contained.

_MG_3325_Training Solar-Technician & Pre-Installation

In the Communities

After the joint training and the pre-installation of the switch cabinets the remaining materials were collectively transported to the following rainforest communities:

Bavoroe, Cofán Community, 11 families

Ukavati, Cofán Community, 8 families

San Pablo, Secoya Community 10 families

Nemonpare, Waorani Community, 7 families

Kiwaru, Waorani Community, 8 families

_MG_5131_Canoe Transportation of Material to the Cofán Community Bavoroe

Energy System Configuration

The off-grid solar home system consists of two high quality 250Wp photovoltaic modules, two 330 Ah / 6 V Sonnenschein batteries, one BlueSolar 100/30 MPPT Victron Energy solar charge controller and one 350 W Phoenix Inverter, Victron Energy, including a Battery Protect 50 A and a battery monitor BMV-700 to protect the batteries from deep discharge by both AC and DC loads.

_MG_6125_IMAGINE LIGHT Project_System-Installation in the Community of Bavoroe

After all the systems of one community were installed and ready to use, LOVE FOR LIFE and the team of technicians invited the whole community to a workshop that taught the correct handling of the systems and the running and maintenance of the systems.

_MG_7270_IMAGINE LIGHT Project_Community Workshop Bavoroe

The workshop was developed and prepared already during the training of the solar technicians and was held by these on their own. In advance, LOVE FOR LIFE had designed and produced special manuals which were explained in the workshops and then put up next to the switch cabinets in the families’ houses. The laminates bilingual colored manuals are protected from humidity and explain all important aspects (personal security, usage, maintenance, trouble-shooting) in easy-to-understand pictograms.

_MG_7256_IMAGINE LIGHT Project_Community Workshop

The “technical“ part of the workshop was followed by an additional sequence on the topic of a collective development of a monthly tariff system held by the respective project coordinator in all communities. Here the families agreed on a fixed tariff that is paid into a common fund by all families on a monthly basis. In future solar technicians will be paid from this fund for their maintenance work, repairs and check-ups, a denounced treasurer manages the finances in each community. Everything done by the solar technicians will be documented and digitalized in order to obtain an exact picture of consumers and user behaviour. Follow-up projects can thus be optimised if necessary.

Self-determination, Sustainability and Cooperation – for a Green and Just World

The situation of the indigenous nationalities in Ecuador is very complex, their history and present coined by exploitation, violence und oppression. The contamination of soil and (drinking) water by oil production over decades causes diseases and the extinction of species, deforestation of the rainforest and the massive increase in oil plantations deprive the peoples of their home and the basis of their lives. Both force them into poverty and dependence on those who violate their human rights and especially their rights as indigenous peoples.

Solarprojekt IMAGINE LIGHT_Installation der Solaranlagen in der Waorani-Gemeinde Nemonpare im Amazonas 4

The Cofán today only number around 2100 people, the Secoya around 600 people in Ecuador and 900 in Peru, the Waorani around 2000 and the Siona around 400 people. The aim of LOVE FOR LIFE is to reach around 6000 people with IMAGINE LIGHT and thus provide them with the sustainable access to clean energy.

Solarprojekt IMAGINE LIGHT_Installation der Solaranlagen in der Waorani-Gemeinde Nemonpare im Amazonas 7

By forming a relationship based on trust and a successful cooperation in the pilot project, LOVE FOR LIFE has ensured that the project is run by the indigenous peoples in self-determination, has sustainable success, and can be expanded to other communities. IMAGINE LIGHT leads to a sustainable strengthening and empowerment of the indigenous people, it allows them urgently needed opportunities for development, supports them in their role as guardians of the natural world and thus also protects one of the most biodiverse regions of our planet, a central regulator of the world’s climate. The future of the Amazon rainforest is concerning the future of us all.

Waorani-Familie mit ihrer Solaranlage in der Gemeinde Kiwaru im Amazonas von Ecuador

More on LOVE FOR LIFE’s work:

Project components

Solar Panels: 2 x 250 Wp PV-modules

Solar chargers: Victron Energy MPPT 100/30

Batteries: 2 x 330 Ah/6V battery

Inverters: Victron Energy 350 W Phoenix Inverter

Battery Protect: Victron Energy Battery Protect

Monitoring: Victron Energy BMV-700 battery monitor


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