CED1321 - Solar Diesel Hybrid Design and Optimization for off-grid communities and industries

Reliable power supply underpins all aspects of community development and provides the foundation for all economic and social development objectives.

While diesel fuel has been playing a fundamental role in providing reliable power supply to remote off-grid communities and islands, even at low oil prices, diesel generators rarely provide electricity for less than US $0.35/kWh (and up to well over $1/kWh in many situations) while the cost of solar has declined to $0.06-$30/kWh, and solar plus storage is now increasingly competitive with diesel electricity.

In this context, the need to provide least cost electricity service provision in remote communities is driving a progression to solar/diesel hybrid power system.

This course is offered either as a 5 day intensive workshop, as a distance learning course or as a hybrid delivery.

Participants will learn what they need to know in order to optimaly design and optimize the sizing of both solar and energy storage in order to obtain the most effective hybrid solar/diesel minigrid system, from a technical and economic perspective.

Section 1

Overview of PV-Diesel hybrid systems

  • Technical Rationale for deployment
  • Limitations of Diesel gensets or PV systems used alone
  • Features of Hybrid PV Diesel Systems
  • Schematic views of PV/Diesel hybrid systems
  • Load characteristics of hybrid systems in off-grid areas
  • Examples of hybrid system loads/Output Profiles
  • Main issues to deals with in order to successfully implement Hybrid Systems
    • Financing difficulties and solutions
    • Human Resources: what needs to be addressed
    • Sources of Technical risks and mitigation strategies

Section 2

  • Main Components of a PV-Diesel Hybrid System (beside the Diesel generators)
    • Solar PV & Support Structures
    • Multi-functional  Inverters
    • Transformers, cables, switches…
    • Energy storage
    • Other
  • Capital Costs of PV systems
    • Examples of cost of PV hybrid systems
    • Evolution of PV module cost and how this is impacting PV Hybrid systems costs
    • How various factors influence the cost of PV Hybrid systems
      • PV System Size
      • PV mounting
      • Other
  • Operation and maintenance considerations and cost
    • Expected Performance
      • Solar PV modules
      • Energy Storage
      • Inverters
      • Impact on Diesel generator
  • Energy efficiency
    • Efficient street lighting
    • Passive cooling strategies
    • Other energy efficiency measures

Section 3

  • Overall Strategy for selecting the optimum technology
  • Detail of solar PV Options
    • Crystalline PV
    • Thin-Film
    • Concentrating solar: CPV or CSP?
  • Inverter technologies for Solar Hybrid Microgrids
    • Central Inverters
    • String Inverters
    • Micro-inverters
    • Multi-functional Inverters
  • Energy Storage options of for diesel PV hybrid systems
    • Overview
    • Types and properties of Lead Acid batteries
    • Lithium-Ion batteries
    • Other types of batteries
      • Sodium Sulfur
      • Flow Batteries
      • Sodium-ion
      • Zinc-air
    • Other forms of energy storage that can work for diesel PV hybrid systems
      • Pumped Hydro
      • Small scale compressed air energy storage
      • Hydrogen fuel cells

Section 4

Using Homer to assist with the design and sizing of PV-Diesel hybrid systems

  • Overview of the tool capabilities
  • The Homer Pro interface
  • Walk through case study for Hybrid-PV Diesel system
  • Creating a new Homer File
  • Building the system schematic
    • Load types
    • Component library
  • Entering load details
  • Entering components details for the
    • Genset
    • Solar System
    • Battery
    • Converter
  • Entering the solar resource details
    • Built in data
    • Custom data
  • Entering the diesel costs with sensitivity options
  • Checking inputs and correcting errors
  • Optimizing the results
  • Refining system design
  • Adding sensitivity variables
  • Running sensitivity and interpreting the results to determine optimal system size
  • Practice case study
    • Community system
    • Industry  (Mining)

Section 5

Using RETScreen to assist with the design and sizing of PV-Diesel hybrid systems

  • Overview of the tool capabilities
  • Comparison of RETScreen versus Homer
  • RETScreen 4 Versus RETScreen Plus
  • Downloading and installing RETScreen
  • RETScreen PV Models for Diesel PV Hybrid systems
    • Off-grid
    • Grid connected with internal load
  • RETScreen Method 1 versus Method 2
  • Working with RETScreen file types
  • The Start Worksheet
  • Entering data in the Energy Model Worksheet
    • Genset
    • Loads
    • Inverter
    • Batteries
    • PV Technology
  • Performing a cost Analysis
  • Evaluating the potential for GHG reductions
  • Figuring out the payback and other critical ratios and performance indicators
  • Using the Built Sensitivity analysis tool and performing alternate sensitivity on other key factors for PV Diesel Hybrid systems
  • Using System Advisor Model as an alternative to RETScreen
  • Practice case study based
    • Community system
    • Industry  (Mining)