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Socio-Technical Analysis for the Off-Grid PV System at Mavuno Girls’ Secondary School in Tanzania
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate, analyse and evaluate the installed off-grid PV system in Mavuno

girls’ secondary school that is located in a rural area in northwest Tanzania. The original motivation behind this study was the rapid degradation of the installed battery bank within less than 3 years. The PV system was installed before the actual operation of the school, so the study aimed to answer a very pressing question which is "What is the actual load profiles in the school?". There was a high need to identify the actual school load profiles to enable several concerned social actors to evaluate the system and to decide for future extensions. Therefore, the study aimed to analyse the implementation of electricity in the school by creating actual load profiles, analysing the system performance versus the users’ needs and evaluating the sustainability and utilization of implementation.

The study followed a multi-disciplinary approach combining the social and technical aspects of PV systems implementation

to seek further understanding of the users’ consumption behaviours. It thus included a 1-month of field work in June 2018 during which participant observations and semi-structured interviews together with load measurements were carried out so as to create load profiles that are considering the patterns and deviations in users’ behaviours. During the field work, 2/3 of the students were in holidays so the taken measurements corresponded to the school at 30 % capacity. That is why the study also included 4 days of inverter data logging after the 1-month field work by the technical head of the school to overcome the limitations in held measurements.

The observations showed that the actual installed system was slightly different from the documentation. In addition, the local installation practices are not fully appropriate from the technical point of view, and are affected by local social norms, as will be discussed. Besides, the participant observations and held interviews with relevant social actors showed that the daily behaviours of energy users do not exactly follow the school daily routine. Consequently, the social study was important to create actual effective load profiles. The observations and responses from interviews together with measurements were used to categorize the school loads into 29 different units. Those units can be used for current load prioritizations and for future load extrapolations. The created load profiles also represent a useful addition to load databases used by energy researchers who work on similar rural electrification projects.

After the field work, several characteristics were calculated by Microsoft Excel such as apparent power consumptions, active power consumptions, battery bank state of charge, load power factor and PV generated energy. The characteristics were used in calculations evaluating the energy balance in the system. The results of held calculations showed that lighting during dark hours accounted for on around 78 % of the logged daily apparent energy use, as it has a low a low average power factor of 0.28. It also showed that some loads if time-bounded, they will significantly decrease the daily energy consumption. The calculations were also used to run PVSyst simulations to evaluate the system sizing which resulted in the recommendation that either the array size should be doubled, or the apparent energy consumption should be decreased to half.

The study included suggestions for possible improvements such as decreasing the reactive consumed energy by either replacing the currently used light bulbs with ones that have higher power factor (

≥0.8 for example) or by installing a capacitive compensation for power factor correction. In addition, it was recommended to quantify the school loads according to their priority or importance and to regulate observed time-unbounded loads such as "pumping water" and "ironing". Lastly, the study discussed how generated electricity is utilized in the school and what opportunities for women empowerment have become potentially possible with the provision of electricity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Socio-technical, Off-grid, PV system, Women empowerment, Rural electrification, Load profile, Solar energy, Multi-disciplinary, Africa, Developing, countries, Tanzania, Electricity
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-28839OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-28839DiVA, id: diva2:1258671
Available from: 2018-10-25 Created: 2018-10-25

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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