Title: How do users interact with photovoltaic-powered products? Investigating 100 'lead-users' and 6 PV products

Authors: Georgia Apostolou; Angèle Reinders

Addresses: Design for Sustainability, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628CE Delft, The Netherlands ' Design for Sustainability, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628CE Delft, The Netherlands; Department of Design, Production and Management, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: In order to better understand how 'lead-users' interact with PV-powered products, the behaviour of 100 people interacting with six different PV-powered products in their daily life was analysed. The sample of respondents to be observed consisted of 20 groups, each one formed by five students of Industrial Design Engineering at Technical University of Delft (TU Delft). The tested PV products are: the IKEA Sunnan lamp, the Waka Waka light, the Waka Waka power (charger and light), the Little Sun light, the Logitech solar keyboard and the Beurer kitchen weight scale. In this study the design of the six tested PV products was analysed, lead-users' expectations were outlined, as well as their opinion of the products' performance during and after use was addressed. Results show that respondents need reliable PV products with appealing design and improved performance.

Keywords: photovoltaics; PV-powered products; PV products; user behaviour; lead users; user interaction; user expectations; product design; product performance; aesthetics; solar energy; solar power; product reliability.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2016.074787

Journal of Design Research, 2016 Vol.14 No.1, pp.66 - 93

Available online: 16 Feb 2016 *

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