A Solar Home Energy Management System.
Nakyeyune, Ruth Karen
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High rise in the cost of centralized energy and the lack of the grid in remote areas has led to increased demand for solar as a supplement to grid electricity or as a stand-alone source of energy. Solar is not efficiently utilized by most users due to poor sizing by developers and decisions by users. Solar systems are not optimally designed to match demand, supply and storage. Thus, there is need to develop a system which guides both users and developers. Some users will only use their solar when mains electricity is off or only during the nights for lighting. A system is therefore needed ensure proper utilization of energy resources and to be used for updating your energy needs from the raw data collected. Solar home energy management reconciles how much solar is generated versus that which is utilized. This ensures solar energy being generated is efficiently utilized by users. There is also a need to reconcile the energy a user consumes at a given time along with what percentage goes to the battery. For methodology, a literature review of various home management systems was done. Energy flow in a home was modeled with Simulink. A solar home management algorithm was developed and designed. A solar powered home with electrical loads using the algorithm were compared to those without. Analysis was made on three different home types i.e. home with grid supply only, home with both solar and grid, home with energy management system for both solar and grid. The solar power, battery power and grid power consumed were noted from the simulation output. This helped us find total power consumed. The same simulations were carried out for different electricity consumption levels. These were for a heavily loaded home and lightly loaded home. A significant increase in usage of solar energy and a decrease in grid power usage was observed. Using a solar home management system thus results into greater solar utilization and reduced grid usage.