Feasibility of Solid Biomass-Solar Hybrid Standalone System Using HOMER Pro: Grand Bassa, Liberia
White, Jackson G.
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Liberia is a low electricity access nation, wherein only 26.7% of the population has access to modern energy. To improve the huge grid power deficit in the country, the government of Liberia and partners have endeavor to rehabilitate the energy sector through bilateral agreement and private-public partnerships. The government, also in 2009, crafted the National Energy Policy of Liberia (NEPL), a crucial outline the energy action plans for grid-power expansion and microgrid renewable energy programs. The renewable energy sector of Liberia has a promising future because the country can benefit from the six months intensive sunshine for solar power generation, and because the massive forests reserves coupled with a plethora of agricultural provide a considerable potential for bioenergy generation as well. The general objective of this paper is to encourage the inclusion of renewable energy options in the energy mix of Liberia to increase rural electricity and energy access. The main goal of this thesis is analyzing the energy situation in the community and design a befitting solid biomass-solar hybrid standalone mini-grid system for the Own Your Own Community in rural Liberia; and study and predict the effects such a system would have on the environment, economy, and social aspects of the community. This paper designs a suitable hybrid power system for seventy-six households, one primary school, a church, a community clinic, and marketplace. With a knowledge of the load demand for the case study, and the available renewable energy resources in the region, HOMER Pro was used to perform a techno-economic analysis for seven configurations of the proposed systems. The seven configurations and their respective components are as follows. • Configuration No. 01: Diesel generator (Base case) • Configuration No. 02: Diesel generator and Solar PV • Configuration No. 03: Diesel generator, Solar PV, and Storage • Configuration No. 04: Diesel generator, Biomass Gasifier, Solar PV, and Storage • Configuration No. 05: Solar PV and Storage • Configuration No. 06: Biomass Gasifier, Solar PV, and Storage • Configuration No. 07: Biomass Gasifier and Storage The reason behind these varying configurations is to compare the net present costs, levelized costs, and the technical performances of each system within the geographical confines and the climatic zone of the Own Your Own Housing Estate. xvi After all simulations and analyses, it was found that the system with the least levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), USD 0.46/kWh, is in configuration No. 03 comprising a 17.0 kW diesel generator, a 7.30 kW solar PV, twenty-three (23) strings of 1kWh battery option along with a 9.67 AC-DC converter system. The total annual electricity production for this configuration is 62053 kWh/yr wherein the solar PV system contributes just 12.4% of the annual electricity production, while the diesel generator supplies the rest. The 1kWh lead acid battery of 12 V receives 4378 kWh electricity annually from the PV system, but its energy output 3502 kWh/yr, accounting for a loss of 876 kWh/yr. Unfavorably, this system contains a diesel generator which emits 37139kg/yr of CO2. However, technically, the best system is in configuration No. 06 containing a 100kW BioGen Fixed Capacity gasifier along with a 24-kW capacity generic flat plate solar PV. The storage option here is a 1kWh generic lead acid battery containing eighty-one strings of batteries; the converter is an 18.3 kW system converter consisting of an inverter and a rectifier. This system’s LCOE is USD 0.51/kWh (10.9% higher than configuration No. 03), but with 99.99% reduction in CO2 and other GHGs emissions compared to the system in configuration No. 03. The solar PV accounts for 44.8% of the annual electrical production, and the biomass gasifier supplies the remainder power need. The total electrical production is 77104 kWh/yr, wherein the AC primary load consumes 78.32% of this amount, with an excess of 5597 kWh/yr of electricity to spare. Finally, this research climaxes the analyses with miscellaneous findings, detailing the prevailing socio-economic situations in the case study site, including the electricity consumption pattern of the households. The goal is to measure the residents’ ability to purchase power, consequently determining the viability of the proposed hybrid energy system at various values of LCOEs.