Design of reliable and sustainable hybrid solar PV-biogas micro-grid for off-grid rural communities in Uganda
Emodiai, Winter Imusalaba
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In this project, we concentrated on an electricity generating system, namely a micro-grid powered by solar and biogas. Electricity is one of a society's essential needs, and the demand for it grows by the day. Industrialization and urbanization are major contributors to the rise in demand. There is need for universal access to electricity powered by renewable energy sources highlighted by SDG 7. Hydroelectric power the primary sources of electricity generating in Uganda accounting for about 84% of the total installed capacity. Reaching universal access to electricity by 2030 requires a massive deployment of mini and micro-grids in rural areas of developing countries. However, there are many challenges hindering this process, among which include, the high uncertainties in assessing demand patterns in rural communities, the costs of field survey campaigns, and the absence of ample and reliable datasets from existing projects. The fact that many isolated areas in Uganda and around the world still lack access to electricity is a major factor in this. Another factor is the inefficiency of transmission and distribution. The main objective of this project is to develop a reference design for a reliable and sustainable hybrid solar PV-biogas micro-grid that can satisfy the energy needs of a typical off-grid rural community, by carrying out a load assessment survey and using MATLAB and Simulink. The micro-grid offers a better and more cost-effective method for supplying electricity to these locations. Solar power, wind power, bio-gas, and other sources are often employed in micro-grid power generation. This approach will assist in overcoming the effects of global warming, as well as the statistical impact on prosperity and dependency. The hybrid system provides more consistent electricity, is more cost effective, and improves the quality of life in off-grid rural locations. The goal of a hybrid power system is to increase the efficiency of the system and the utilization of a hybrid power system based on renewable energy. To satisfy the sustained load demands, several renewable energy sources must be blended. In this report, we will merge biogas and solar energy for the generation of electricity, resulting in a lower composite created and a lower cost per unit of power generated. Solar energy is free; the initial cost of a solar power plant is significant, but the operational costs are essentially non-existent for the first 7 to 10 years. This study presents a viable, environmentally friendly solution for future energy needs.