Design and feasibility study of PV systems in Kenya - A case study

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Design and feasibility study of PV systems in Kenya - A case study
Authors: Barman, Jonas
Abstract: Solar power has the ability to play a main role in the electrification of the developing world. Autonomous energy systems based on solar photovoltaic is, for some cases, a feasible alternative to a grid connection. Solar power can also be used as a complement to a weak grid, for facilities that requires a higher reliability of power. The main objectives of this thesis were to present one backup energy system for a grid connected facility, based on existing but non-operational solar panels, and to present a cost-effective autonomous energy system, with a good reliability, for an upcoming school. An investment analysis for each case shows the feasibility of the proposed systems. A second objective was to investigate if it is feasible to attach reflectors to solar panels. If a V-shaped set of reflectors, with a surface area nine times larger than the panels, are attached to solar panels, and the panels are twisted four times a year, the annual energy generation is expected to increase with 65 %, compared with a fixed installation without reflectors. The results from the investment analysis show that using solar power as a backup energy system can be economically favourable, if it leads to an enhanced business with increased income. The proposed complemented system, to the studied case with existing solar panels, has a payoff time of less than six months. For the upcoming school facility, the results from this thesis shows that it is mainly the interest rate and the assumed future electricity price, used for the investment analysis, that decides if an autonomous energy system, based on solar PV:s, economically can compete with a grid connection. If both the interest rate and the price increase for electricity are set to 10 % per year, an autonomous system is very economical. The Net Present Value (NPV) of a grid connection is 120 500 SEK, while the NPV of an autonomous system based on solar power is 54 800 SEK. The conclusion from the results in this thesis is that already today solar power is a cost-effective energy source, for countries with much solar insolation and a weak grid. However, it is very important that the system is designed for the specific facility and that the required maintenance is communicated with the operator in order to get a reliable system that will be in operation throughout its expected lifetime.
Keywords: Energi;Hållbar utveckling;Innovation och entreprenörskap (nyttiggörande);Byggnadsteknik;Övrig elektroteknik, elektronik och fotonik;Termisk energiteknik;Övrig teknisk mekanik;Energy;Sustainable Development;Innovation & Entrepreneurship;Building engineering;Other electrical engineering, electronics and photonics;Thermal energy engineering;Other engineering mechanics
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för energi och miljö
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Energy and Environment
Series/Report no.: Examensarbete. T - Institutionen för energi och miljö, Avdelningen för energiteknik, Chalmers tekniska högskola
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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