Case Study Wind Village Power System

Huaerci [34] is a village in the mountainous area of eastern Xinjiang Province with 90 households, 360 inhabitants, with the primary economic activity being animal husbandry. The income per capita is well below the national poverty level. The distance to the nearest electricity grid is 110 km, and the roads are very bad. Lighting at night was provided by candles, and for children to do their homework, most families used two candles per night. The renewable resources are wind (annual mean wind speed, 8.3 m/s) and solar (annual average, 3,100 h).

The system configuration chosen was a single 10 kW wind turbine, a 55 kWh battery bank, and a 7.5 kW DC-AC inverter. The system produces around 50 kWh/day. The project was financed by a government-subsidized loan, 5 years at 3% interest.

The system provides 24 h power for the ninety households, two village offices, a school, and a TV transmitting station. All lightbulbs are energy saving, and since installation of the system, ten color TVs, thirty black-and-white TVs, and one CD player have been purchased. The peak residential load is about 5 kW, and energy consumption is around 300 kWh/month, with an additional 45 kWh/month for the institutional loads.

A Village Power Management Committee is composed of village officials, representatives of the villagers, and the deputy director of the border control stations. A tariff of 1.2 Yuan/kWh ($0.16/kWh) is charged to all customers. Most of the revenue will be used for maintenance costs, so there should be enough cash flow to replace the battery bank, but the village power system is not fully commercialized. There is a part-time operator. No productive loads are served to date due to limited system capacity.

Lessons learned are:

• Load analysis and prediction is important. Proper system configuration to match the load is a critical factor for system cost recovery.

• Six renewable energy village power systems have been developed in Barkol County. This provides a great opportunity to develop a multiple project management entity and to introduce a commercialized model to ensure sustainability.

• Productive loads should have been established at the beginning.

• A skillful technical operator should also provide some services to users and encourage wise use of electricity.

The large initial investment for renewable energy village power is beyond the financial resources of the local residents and local government.

Four villages in Barkol County have been powered by renewable energy since 1999. Each one is powered by a wind turbine system, and another two large villages are powered with a 30 kW wind system.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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