A comparison study of PV and battery technologies for EWB off-grid electrification projects in Sub-Saharan Africa

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik; KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: Only 10 % of the rural population in Sub-Saharan Africa has access to electricity. At the same time the Sub-Saharan countries are close to the equator and get many sun hours a day, leading to a huge potential for solar energy. This report aims to compare different PV system components for use in Sub-Saharan Africa to facilitate EWB for their work in electrification projects in the areas. The PV system will be compared with the following factors: economic, adoptability, scalability, environmental impact and efficiency, weighed in that order. A case simulation was made for a village around Nairobi were 20 households would be supplied with solar power. Both Polycrystalline silicon cells and thin filmed CIGS were simulated were the Poly c-Si cell was both the cost-efficient and scalable choice. Poly c-Si cells was also concluded to be advantageous of the crystalline cells by the chosen factors. Pb-acid batteries are best suited for off grid PV systems in rural areas. Different types of Pb-acid batteries can be used depending on the area’s typology. Off grid solar powered microgrids could be the solutions for an increased socioeconomic wellbeing for communities in rural areas.

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