Equip Data’s product sampling, testing, and data sharing processes ensure that the results shared on the database are comprehensive, accurate, and third-party verified.
How Equip Data Works
Step 1: Product Sampling
The Equip Data team conducts random sampling to eliminate preferential pre-selection bias from manufacturers or distributors. Random sampling also ensures that the test data are representative of products from commercial production. Equip identifies and samples products through two different channels: retail markets and manufacturers.
The Equip Data team samples products from off-grid product retail markets to get better data on what products are available to an average off- or weak-grid consumer. On-the-ground consultants work with the Equip Data team to survey retail shops, gather product data, and identify products for testing.
Manufacturers submit their product for testing directly to Equip Data or through the Global LEAP Awards, an international competition to identify and promote the world’s best off-grid appliances. Once manufacturers submit a product for testing, Equip Data’s sampling agents conduct warehouse visits and randomly select products from their existing stock for testing.
Step 2: Product Testing
Independent laboratory testing and evaluation assesses the extent to which products meet their advertised performance claims and measures the design elements that make them suitable for off-grid use. The Equip Data team coordinates and advises a global network of ISO-accredited test laboratories to test products according to Global LEAP test methods for off-grid appliances.
The Global LEAP Awards test methods leverage widely-adopted international test methods and are developed in in close collaboration with market, product, and testing experts. These standardized test methods enable consistent product-to-product comparisons on design, quality, and energy performance.
Step 3: Data Cataloguing
The data cataloguing process verifies and quality-checks the test results. Once testing has concluded, the lab shares the test results with the Equip Data team. During this time, the team reviews the results, conducts data quality control, and works with test labs to update the results as necessary. The data is uploaded and organized into an interactive, easy-to-use online database—Equip Data.
Step 4: Data Sharing
Equip Data is an open-access database to enable any user to easily access and use the product data. The Equip Data team works with market actors throughout the value chain to interpret data and conduct benchmarking. Users can also use specific metrics to inform their work. To increase knowledge about off-grid appliances and shed light on potential market opportunity, the Equip Data team partners with Efficiency for Access to periodically analyze data and publish reports on market trends. To learn more about this work, read the Appliance Data Trends 2018 Report.