11PV Hybrid Systems Within Mini-Grids

Operating agents

Konrad MAUCH

Expertise

Task 11 operated from 2006 to 2011 based on the work on PV hybrid systems undertaken in Task 3.

The main goal of Task 11 is to promote the role of PV technology as a technically relevant and competitive source in PV hybrid mini grids. It aims at enhancing the knowledge-base of multi-source power generation systems including PV and associated electric distribution networks.

The objectives of Task 11 were to:

  • Define concepts for sustainable PV hybrid mini grids considering local factors (specificity of the application, financing regimes and location)
  • Provide recommendations on individual designs (mix of technologies, architecture, size, performances) in order to achieve high penetration level of PV as a mean to improve quality, reliability and economics of electrification systems such as mini grids;
  • Assess the potential of technologies to be mixed with PV for hybridisation and,
  • Compile and disseminate best practices on PV hybrid power systems.

Outreach

The Task 11 work programme addressed technical and non-technical issues to increasing the market penetration and uptake of PV hybrid systems. Technical issues include design options, operational situations and technology mix. This formed the bulk of the work in this Task. Non-technical issues pertain to the social, economic and environmental conditions through which these systems become sustainable.
The operation of PV within mini grids (defined as the interconnection of small, modular generation sources to low voltage ac distribution systems). These mini grids may be powered by a combination of PV, wind, micro-hydro, fossil fuel gensets, and other sources. They typically supply multiple users, and they may be interconnected with (or be part of) the distribution grid of the local electric utility. This raises issues of system control and coordination, sustainability and the role of local electric utilities in different jurisdictions.

Task 11 activities were organized as follows

1Subtask 1 : Design Issues

This sub-task sought to develop and disseminate best practices, design tools, and design information for PV hybrids in mini-grids.

2Subtask 2 : Control Issues

This sub-task addressed control, communication, and system management issues in PV hybrid mini-grids.

3Subtask 3 : PV penetration in Mini-grids

This sub-task considered design approaches to maximize use of PV in hybrid systems.

4Subtask 4 : Sustainability Conditions

This sub-task examined economic, social, and environmental factors that affect the success and long-term sustainability of PV hybrids in mini-grids.

Task 11 Reports