Laboratory Testing for Solar Water Pumps



The UK aid funded Low Energy Inclusive Appliances programme (LEIA) aims to accelerate the availability, affordability, efficiency, and performance of a range of appliances particularly suited to off- and weak-grid market segments in developing countries. Solar water pumping technology is a major focus of this effort.

The LEIA programme will be delivered through an international Efficiency for Access Coalition convened by UK aid and Power Africa, involving a range of co-funders including Lighting Global, Rockefeller Foundation, Shell Foundation, Sida, EnDev, Good Energies Foundation, and more. The Efficiency for Access Coalition is coordinated by CLASP, the leading international voice and resource for appliance energy efficiency policies and market acceleration initiatives, working alongside the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, which specializes in energy efficiency product verification, data and insight, advice, and research.

To support the Efficiency for Access Coalition and LEIA programme’s interest in evaluating solar water pump performance, quality, durability, and energy efficiency of solar water pumps, CLASP and EST are soliciting cost estimates from qualified test laboratories.

Information on the background, test parameters and methods, submittals, and timeline for RFP submission is provided below.


Appropriately-designed, energy-efficient, affordable solar water pumps (SWP) have the potential to improve lives and livelihoods for smallholder farmers who lack energy access by reducing their labor burden and increasing productivity, yields, and incomes. However, solar water pumps present significant technical challenges since their performance is highly dependent on use case, intended application, size of the associated energy system, etc.

Another key challenge to the solar water pump market, and thus to related energy access outcomes, is the lack of consistent and comparable performance data that helps market stakeholders make effective and informed decisions.

Robust laboratory testing ensures product performance lives up to the performance, energy efficiency, and quality claims of manufacturers and is a best practice, especially in nascent markets. To this end, we request detailed quotes – with line item cost breakdowns for each referenced test method – from qualified test laboratories. This requirement is further explained in the “submittal” section below.

To enable this testing, we are also seeking quotes from qualified test laboratories for consultative services that will result in the finalization of an appropriate test procedure. This will build on work already completed by the LEIA programme and summarized in the tables included in the “Submittal” section below. The test procedure will heavily leverage existing internationally accepted test methods for solar water pumps, such as IEC 62253 (edition 1.0, 2011-07) and MED 20 (11177) – Draft Indian Standard on Solar Powered Pumpset.


As directed by CLASP, the test laboratory or team contracted for this work will be responsible for the following:

  1. Collaborate with CLASP to provide input on and finalize the proposed test methods to deliver results that enable evaluation of metrics described in Annex 1: Draft Solar Water Pump Testing Conditions and Parameters/Metrics.
  2. Collaborate with CLASP to develop a standard test report template to document product testing results.
  3. Coordinate with CLASP on the product shipping process, including providing any necessary assistance related to shipping, custom clearance, notifying CLASP of receipt of product(s), verifying model numbers of received product sample(s), packaging and reshipping after testing if necessary.
  4. Inspect the product sample(s) received and identify and record any external damage.
  5. Perform tests on product sample(s) as defined in the final test method per tasks 1 above (to be referred to as the Global LEAP Solar Water Pump Test Method).
  6. As relevant, document and communicate to CLASP any difficulties with the Global LEAP test methods experienced during product testing. Where relevant and possible, suggest improvements to the test method that would improve clarity, quality, and/or lower costs.
  7. Record all test results in the test report template and provide brief, succinct descriptions of any relevant observations.
  8. Submit test results to CLASP within five (5) business days of test completion.
  9. Respond to any inquiries that CLASP may have about testing, including requests for periodic updates about the testing queue and any issues that may arise during testing.


Consultative work to finalize the test method will begin immediately and conclude as soon as possible.

Testing will commence as soon as the contract is signed and continue throughout 2019. The exact testing start date will be coordinated with the contracted test laboratory or team after contract execution.


Companies and organizations that wish to respond to this RFP must complete the LEIA prequalification questionnaire. This is a requirement for all sub-recipients of UK DFID funding. Companies must also register as a CLASP Implementing Partner. Registration is easy, and must be completed via the CLASP website before final submittal.

Applicants are also required to submit one file with required information as listed below. The file should be named as per the following example: “Organization Name: RFP 8-18

The quotation for refrigerator testing must include the following elements:

  • Test laboratory profile, including ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and a summary of any experience testing solar water pumps (and the test methods used).
  • A summary of regional presence, especially in Africa and Asia, and related experiences of conducting testing for solar water pumps or other solar-powered products, including any experience in round robin testing.
  • A summary of qualifications of key personnel that will be engaged in the assignment, along with a description of each person’s role.
  • Detailed cost estimate and timeline for consultative activities that support the finalization of the proposed test methods.
  • Detailed cost estimate (in US Dollars) outlining testing cost and duration for one sample and ten samples respectively, as specified in the following table.


The deadline for quotation submission is October 26, 2018. Proposals 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 Wendy Hado at The last date for submission of questions related to this RFP is October 26, 2018. We request all inquiries be made by email and not by phone.


Confidentiality Statement

All data and information received from test laboratories or other entities 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 LEIA program 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 LEIA designees.

ANNEX 1: Draft Solar Water Pump Testing Conditions and Parameters/Metrics



Sign up for the CLASP newsletter