EPE  Vol.13 No.3 , March 2021
Design of a Photovoltaic Mini-Grid System for Rural Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa
Abstract: This paper presents a detailed design of a photovoltaic (PV) system for use in the rural electrification of remote settlements that are far off from the electricity grid. Since investment in building transmission lines from the grid to these localities is not viable, a good solution is an installation in these areas of standalone photovoltaic systems. The design process comprises the choice and dimensioning of the solar panels, the battery storage, DC-AC inverter, and mini transmission grid to the different homes. The design is for a 15 kW PV system including an economic evaluation and analysis using Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER) software. Data on the average monthly solar radiation and temperature were obtained from various sources, including, Photovoltaic Geographical Information System (PVGIS) for Africa. From this data the study area receives a monthly average solar insolation of 6.16 kWh/m2/day with the worst month being August with 5.22 kWh/m2/day. The total daily electrical energy consumption is estimated to be about 72.525 kWh. Simulation results using HOMER software shows that the overall capital cost of the PV system components is $122,337, a replacement cost of $12,889 and an operation and maintenance cost of $29,946 over 10years. A financial analysis of the system showed that the design was both viable and sustainable with low maintenance cost.
Cite this paper: Mbinkar, E. , A. Asoh, D. , Tchuidjan, R. and Baldeh, A. (2021) Design of a Photovoltaic Mini-Grid System for Rural Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa. Energy and Power Engineering, 13, 91-110. doi: 10.4236/epe.2021.133007.

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