Modelling and analysis of off grid distribution networks for improved reliability performance. Case study: West Nile
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A major requirement on electricity supply systems is to ensure high supply reliability for the customers. West Nile is isolated from the main grid and WENRECO is the Distribution company responsible for supply of electricity in this region. It operates a mini hydro power plant with a capacity of 3.5 MW which acts the only generating source for the network and yet demand in the region is 4.6 MW and still yet to increase in years to come. Due to the above challenges, power is unreliable in this region despite all the measures implemented to ensure reliable supply. This project therefore, focuses on improving reliability on this network. In this study, a root cause analysis is carried out to determine the major contributors to the power outages by modelling the network in DigSilent Power factory software to obtain the system reliability indices at its current state and wit the proposed solutions. From the implementation of the proposed solution, results indicate that addition of switches to increase protection has a positive impact on the reliability and is equally cost friendly measure as compared to feeder reconfiguration and increase in generation capacity.