Village Power

Around 1.6 * 109 people do not have electric service because they are too far from transmission lines of conventional electric power plants. Extension of the grid is too expensive for most rural areas, and if extended, it has poor cost recovery. There is an effort to bring electricity to these villages using renewable energy (wind, PV, mini and micro hydro, biomass). Other components to supply reliable energy (limited) include controllers, batteries, and conventional diesel/gas generators. In windy areas, wind is the least-cost component of the renewable power supply.

Village power systems provide power to the community from a central power source, a mini grid. Village hybrid power systems [29] can range in size from small micro grids (<100 kWh/ day, ~15 kWp) to larger communities (tens of MWh/day, hundreds of kWp). One or multiple wind turbines may be installed, 10-100 kW range. There are software programs for modeling hybrid systems [30, 31]. Notice the primary difference between village power and wind-diesel is in the size of the system, although there will be overlap.

There have been international conferences for village power, and NREL had a project database with 146 projects (1994-2000), of which 14 included wind. Global Village Energy Partnership provides information and publishes a newsletter [32]. Manufacturers' websites may show case studies; for example, Bergey Windpower has case studies of different types of installations that include village power [33].

The village renewable systems are the following types:

• Fuel saver system, addition of renewable energy system to existing diesel power plant (see Section 10.4)

• Renewable energy source, single or hybrid, with battery storage (Figure 10.4)

FIGURE 10.4 Diagram of hybrid wind/PV system with battery storage.

• Renewable energy source, single or hybrid, diesel/gas generator

• Renewable energy source, single or hybrid, diesel/gas generator with battery storage

The advantages of village power systems using renewable energy are:

• Provide AC or DC power for remote areas. For a system of any size, AC is the standard.

• Provide electricity for productive uses.

Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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