Solar electricity & hot water for dispersed off-grid households in Botswana: Demand-based sizing & Prototype testing initial results

Adrian Pugsley, Ronald Muhumuza, Giovanni Francesco Giuzio, A Zacharopoulos, Mervyn Smyth, Dominic McLarnon, Jayanta Mondol

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

More than 600M people in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity and 90% burn solid fuel for cooking, boiling water, lighting and heating, with detrimental socio-economic, health and environmental consequences. SolaFin2Go project addresses the challenge of providing standalone solar systems to make available cost effective energy access to off-grid households, made affordable through improved PAYG business models enabled by an innovative FinTech platform delivered through Mobile, Cloud and Blockchain. At the project’s heart is a unique solar technology solution which reliably delivers both electricity and hot water to households making optimum use of available solar energy throughout the year.
The paper sets out the basis for sizing photovoltaic panels, batteries, integrated collector-storage solar water heater (ICSSWH), and other components making up prototypes to be piloted at field trial sites in Botswana during 2018/19. Component sizing was informed by systematic review of literature on household energy demands in Botswana and elsewhere. Electricity and hot water demand data were used to calculate suitable component sizes based on local climatic conditions. Equipment selections allow for entry-level affordability and enable future upgrades when household energy demands and budgets increase as users climb the energy ladder.
Results of initial prototype tests carried out at Ulster University’s solar simulator laboratory are presented. Tests characterise diurnal behaviour under typical 6 kWh/m2/day (sunny) and 1.5 kWh/m2/day (cloudy) conditions. Measured temperature time histories enable calculation of daily solar collection and overnight heat retention efficiencies for the innovative “Solacatcher” thermal diode ICSSWH. Photovoltaic and battery storage system tests were undertaken to verify system capacity to maintain reliable electricity supply during extended cloudy periods.
Initial results indicate that system sizing is fit for purpose. Further detailed analysis will inform future designs and enable value judgements facilitating cost-effective optimisation of system design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd International Conference on Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to improve energy access
Place of PublicationPalma de Mallorca, Spain
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2018
Event2nd International Conference on Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to improve energy access - Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Duration: 17 Oct 201819 Oct 2018
http://www.energy-access-conferences.com

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to improve energy access
Abbreviated titleS@ccess
CountrySpain
CityPalma de Mallorca
Period17/10/1819/10/18
Internet address

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    Pugsley, A., Muhumuza, R., Giuzio, G. F., Zacharopoulos, A., Smyth, M., McLarnon, D., & Mondol, J. (2018). Solar electricity & hot water for dispersed off-grid households in Botswana: Demand-based sizing & Prototype testing initial results . In 2nd International Conference on Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to improve energy access