Integrating a Solar Pv System with a Household based Backup Generator for Hybrid Swarm Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa: Case Study of Nigeria
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Electrification approaches in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has mainly been through centralized national grids besides mini-grids and other stand-alone systems. The existing grids are mainly found in urban areas, leaving many African population living in the rural areas without access to electricity. However, even some of those in peri-urban and urban areas who have access to electricity through connection to the centralized national grid suffer from erratic and frequent power outages for long hours, on average 4.6hours in the whole of SSA. Due to this problem, many of the population rely on unclean options like backup diesel/petrol generators for lighting, phone charging and other electrical appliances. In Nigeria, millions of people own power generators. These generators are not only noisy; the fuel they use are also costly and result in greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide polluting the environment. In order to optimize fuel consumption and gradually reduce use of backup generators while increasing share of renewables, a strategy is proposed in this thesis to interconnect the existing backup infrastructure to form a bottom-up swarm electrification grid with step by step integration of alternative storages and renewable energy sources. In the swarm-grid excess energy can be generated, sold among grid participants and even at later stage to the national grid. This study focused on the integration of solar PV system to the existing individual backup generators for the household and the retail shop end users. Three systems are designed, and the hybrid system is found to be the preferred system for the household user with fuel savings of 39%, excess energy of 27% and reduced cost of backup electricity by 34%. The hybrid system for the retail shop is also found to be the most suitable system among others with fuel cost savings of 53%, excess energy generation of 28% and reduced cost of backup electricity by 45%. The study found that integration of a solar PV system has a high potential to reduce fuel costs for the backup generator end users and could contribute to a hybrid swarm electrification approach.