Evaluation Of A Hybrid Solar Photovoltaic-Bioenergy System For Powering Remote Dwelling In Rwanda
The use of energy has always been important to improve the living standard of human beings. Relying on energy generated from fossil fuels has resulted in the reduction of fossilfuel reserves, the change of climate due to the pollution of the environment and to financial instability due to its cost fluctuation. From the presented challenges related to the use of fossil fuels, renewable energy resources have been thought as solutions. On the other side, because of the renewable source intermittent character, it is difficult and rare for one single renewable energy source to supply clean, reliable and cost-effective power. Thus, a combination of multiple power resources can be a good way to provide a solution. The electricity access in Rwanda is still low; only 23% of the population has access to electricity. In remotes area, the situation is even worst; access to modern energy services is practically inexistent. The rate of electrification is extremely low. Renewable energy, by its availability and its adaptability to the remote areas, is the best way to get these regions out of the energy poverty and to improve the quality of life of their population. The present work deals with this issue for the case of Kabasega Village in Gicumbi district Northern Province of Rwanda. An off-grid hybrid system based on renewable energy resources solar PV and biomass with a Fuel cell as a backup has been proposed. The target of this research has been first to evaluate the renewable energy resources in the chosen area in order to determine its potential in meeting the local energy needs. After that, a survey has been conducted to determine the village energy load demand. HOMER software has then been used to optimize a suitable system that meets the requirements. To satisfy a primary load demand of 243KWh/day with a load peak of 49.3 kW, an optimum hybrid system is proposed. This system is made of a 25 kW PV, 45 kW biomass, 5 kW Fuel cell, 7 kW converter, 10 kW Electrolyzer and 3 kg hydrogen tank. For this system, the origin of the produced electricity is 27% solar, 72% biomass and 1% fuel cell. The Levelized cost is 0.144 $/kWh; which is competitive with the national grid tariff.