Monday, June 8, 2009

Optimum Utilization of Renewable Energy for Electrification of Small Island in Developing Countries

Mitra, Indradip. Optimum Utilization of Renewable Energy for Electrification of Small Island in Developing Countries. Verlag: Kassel University Press, 2008. ISBN : 978-3-89958-694-7. Price: 28.00 Euro.


This Doctoral research investigated selected themes from the general research question “What are the impacts of past experiences and present developments on power supply systems on small islands in developing countries utilizing renewable energy and how to improve the situation?” It focussed particularly on techno-economic aspects and attempted to investigate the state-of-the-art in several aspects of technology, tools and practices for island electrification. It also documented good practice cases concerning technology as well as sustainability. The research developed a generic type methodology for small island electrification with renewable energy and validated it in a real small island in India. It also investigated the impacts of existing island electrification projects on the local society.

The research had a combination of detailed literature review, survey, analysis of real power plant performance, extensive field works in islands, interviews with several authorities, experts, consumers and stakeholders and rigorous computer based energy modelling and simulation exercises. The theoretical, analytical and practical works were documented in six chapters of the thesis to give shape a compendium of discussions on interdisciplinary themes related to island electrification with renewable energy.

The study showed that with appropriate renewable energy technology, organisation and tariff structure the existing projects in the island clusters of Sundarbans in India are creating positive impacts on the islands’ society.

The detailed case study was performed for two villages, with a total load of about 98 kW peak and 670 kWh per day, in Bali Island in Sundarbans region in India. In this task, the time series modelling was conducted for power generation via Solar Photovoltaic and Biomass energy technologies. Two optimisation tools, HOMER for power generation and ViPOR for distribution layout, were used in this work and special biomass gasification modules had been developed in HOMER environment. Simulation, optimization and sensitivity analyses had been performed for designing rudimentary power systems. Time and cost saving approach was developed by integrating HOMER-ViPOR combination with remote sensing and Geographical Information System techniques. Easily available high resolution satellite data were used for preparing suitable inputs accounting for the effect of the spatial features in the distribution layout optimisation tasks.

The research was concluded with optimistic note that many small islands in developing countries through out the world are holding opportunities for greater deployment of renewable energy based electrification in the near future.

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