Seminar: Demand Side Management of PV Systems in Rural Areas in Africa

Seminar: Demand Side Management of PV Systems in Rural Areas in Africa

Speaker: Catarina Augusto

May 16, in ERC 189, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m

Renewable energy systems depend strongly on energy efficiency, impacting directly the power size of the systems, and the investment cost. In developing countries, energy supply is poor and the investment costs are high. In this scenario, energy efficiency is critical to secure proper energy supply, more than in developed economies. Demand Side Management (DSM) can help to answer to this problem. In this work, we study the potential of DSM on renewable energy microgrid systems in remote areas. Fossil fuel and batteries are the two most expensive components in these systems. We analyse the impact of DSM strategies in reducing the needs of fossil fuels and how it could improve the performance of batteries in the microgrids. Different scenarios were design based on the main DSM strategies: conservation, peak clipping, load shifting and valley filling. The study is based on Soroti community, a small town in central-east of Uganda, supplied by a PV-diesel microgrid system. The tools used in this study are LoadProGen (for load profile estimation) and HOMER (for DSM scenarios analyses). The results show that combining all DSM strategies improve the performance of the power systems, and reduce the energy supply costs. The study also demonstrate that the nominal power capacity of the system has a higher impact on the energy cost than the reduction of diesel consumption. In systems with DSM, the LCOE has an improvement of 20%. These results highlight the importance of the often-neglected DSM strategies for isolated microgrids, which have the potential for promoting access to electricity in many regions of the world with clean renewable energies.

Catarina Augusto is a final-year MSc student in Energy and Environmental Engineering at Science Faculty of University of Lisbon (Portugal). Her background is on: renewable energy systems, solar photovoltaic and energy efficiency. She also studied energy systems in Utrecht University (Netherlands). In last year, she developed comprehensive work on Demand Side Management of energy systems getting proficient in two tools: LoadProGen and HOMER. LoadProGen is a mathematical algorithm in Matlab created by the UNESCO chair Group in Energy for Sustainable Development of Politecnico di Milano that estimates daily load profiles of un-electrified communities in rural areas. HOMER is a software developed by NREL that optimizes the design of microgrid systems.