Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Development of an innovative autonomous 2 kW hybrid photovoltaic wind-power supply pilot system for rural electrification

Stand-alone hybrid systems which utilise complementary renewable energy sources offer significant opportunities for rural electrification. The prototype wind-photovoltaic hybrid system and its associated management system constructed under this project successfully demonstrated the validity of this concept.

Significant potential exists for the use of stand-alone hybrid renewable energy systems for rural electrification. The objective of this project was to apply this concept through the development of an innovative, autonomous power system utilising PV and wind energy, which would have several key features. The system should be made self-adapting to different climates and users through the application of a self-organising energy management system. It should be usable as an autonomous power supply system especially for rural electrification and be totally driven by renewable energy. It should be easy to handle by non-technicians and easy to enlarge or reduce, even with new power sources such as hydropower. Finally, it should be comparable to conventional systems in reliability, maintenance and handling costs and should be easy to transport. The system, AREP, uses some new, sophisticated technologies including a decentralised energy management system based on a pricing model, an intelligent battery management system based on block monitoring. It also includes AC coupling of AC generators and DC coupling of DC generators and batteries. Finally it incorporates AC/DC coupling via bi-directional inverters. The 2 kW AREP system was also designed to be integrated into a standard twenty foot cargo container to enable easy transportation and thus make it suitable for rural applications. The main emphasis in the project was placed on the development of the energy management system which is based on the market principle and uses only price information to control the whole system.


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