Category Archives: enershelf news

Continuing the development of the planning tool for micro grids

Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash

In this interview, Paul David Bohn from Cologne University of Applied Sciences talks about his role in the EnerSHelF project. He continues the work of Silvan Rummeny on an advisor and planning tool for Photovoltaic-diesel-hybrid systems.

In autumn 2021, you took over the role of Silvan Rummeny, who was working in work package 3.3. Can you tell us what his – and now your – work entails?

The main subject of work package 3.3. is the development of an advisor and planning tool for micro grids. The acronym for this tool is Micro Grid User Energy Planning TooL (MiGUEL). MiGUEL is used to design, simulate and evaluate Photovoltaic (PV)-diesel-hybrid systems for Ghanaian health facilities. The goal is to provide users with suitable solutions on how to design a cost-effective micro grid, contributing to fulfil the sustainable development goals and affiliated roadmaps. The target groups are project developers, engineering companies, and private as well as public grid operators who want to implement micro or mini grids. Silvan Rummeny started designing MiGUEL and I took over the development since he left EnerSHelF.

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Collecting and processing meteorological data

Interview with Dr. Windmanadga Sawadogo from University of Augsburg. He talks about his recent trip to the EnerSHelF field sites and about processing the collected meteorological data.

You are working in WP 3.2, focusing on high-resolution meteorological forecasts for Ghana. Can you explain how your work contributes to the overall aim of the EnerSHelF project to improve and disseminate marketable PV-based energy solutions for health facilities in Ghana? 

The work of the University Augsburg is to produce weather forecasts for the three pilot sites and to spread the data to different partners in the project. For this, I am working closely with Samer Chaaraoui from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), as he needs the forecasting data to improve the accuracy of his models for photovoltaic-hybrid systems. Currently, we are at the stage where everything is ready, and we are running the forecasts for the three sites every day. The collected data are kept at our servers at the KIT campus at Garmisch-Partenkirchen while we are waiting for the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) from our partner WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) to upload the data so that everyone can easily access the data.  

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Constant adjustments and improvement

© Mohammed Abass: Installation of the new inverter

Mohammed Abass from our project partner WestfalenWIND travelled to Ghana to adjust and improve the PV-hybrid power system at the health facility in Kologo. 

When putting research into practice, the reality often calls for adjustment of foregone planning. Just like other initiatives, the EnerSHelF project is undergoing constant evaluation, adjustments, and improvements. In our previous article, we described the process of training local enumerators to conduct quantitative interviews at health facilities across Ghana. Here, the training week was followed by a pilot study before the main survey at 200 health facilities started in July. The test run helped to identify any necessary changes in the questionnaire and survey design.

On the engineering side of the project, the solar-hybrid systems at the health facilities of our three pilot sites need constant checks to evaluate if they are running as planned. Many adjustments can be done remotely via sensors and software, which has been set-up by our technicians and researchers. However, certain work must be done at the site.

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Health facility survey: 80% of the data collection completed

Local enumerators at work
© EnerSHEelF

Update: In July, a group of ten local enumerators started interviewing 200 health facilities all over Ghana. Prior to the start of the survey, they have been trained by Ana Maria Pérez from Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and Kennedy Alatinga from SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies in Wa. After an intensive training week and a test run of the survey in June, the data collection is well on track. Until now, around 80% of the health facilities have been interviewed. The survey is set to be completed during the month of August.  

A complete set-up of a PV-Hybrid power system at the Health-centre in Kologo, Ghana

In November 2020, our partner WestfalenWIND travelled to Ghana to install a PV-hybrid power system at Kologo, Ghana. In March 2021, Mohammed Abass returned to the health facility to finish the set-up. In this article, he illustrates the necessity, application, and management of the system.

Article & Pictures by Mohammed Abass

In Twi, one of the local languages in Ghana, dumsors are power cuts due to low voltage or high-energy demand. They happen frequently and can last for days or weeks. Dumsors impede the work progress of many companies and workplaces, especially health facilities, where electric power is needed the most. Sometimes, communities even must take turns to not overstrain the electricity grid. This is a huge problem for health centres, as they need cooling systems for their vaccines and other drugs that need to be stored at certain temperatures.

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Developing an Advisor and Planning Tool for Micro Grid Systems

https://unsplash.com/photos/b6vAiN3wYNw

In this interview, Silvan Rummeny from Cologne University of Applied Sciences highlights the development of the advisor and planning tool MiGUEL. It is an open-source-based library which is developed within the EnerSHelF project and later made available online.

You are involved in the EnerSHelF project within work package 3.3a. Can you tell us about your role in the project and the goal of your work package?

On the one hand, our role in the EnerSHelF project is to improve the knowledge of load data of Ghanaian hospitals. On the other hand, we aim to improve the implementability of micro grid projects in the Ghanaian health sector by developing an advisor and planning tool for such micro grids. The tool can be used to design and evaluate Photovoltaic (PV)-diesel-hybrid systems for Ghanaian health facilities. Our goal is to provide users with suitable solutions on how to change the microgrid design and with which planning strategy they can achieve their micro grid development goals and roadmaps in the most cost-effective way. The target groups are project developers, engineering companies, and private as well as public grid operators who want to implement micro or mini grids.

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New working paper published

In March 2021, a group of researchers from the EnerSHelF project published a paper in the IZNE Working Paper Series: “PV-diesel-hybrid system for a hospital in Ghana – Connection of a PV battery storage model to an existing generator model”. Matthias Bebber, leading author of the paper, summarizes the working paper in this article. You can access the paper on the H-BRS website. 

Summary by Matthias Bebber 

In our paper, we present a model of a grid-integrated PV-diesel-hybrid system. The model is based on an existing simulation tool from Cologne University of Applied Sciences and was further developed in the context of this paper. By means of real measurement data of PV yield and electricity consumption of a hospital in Ghana – collected in a period from February 2016 to 2017 – the behaviour of the hybrid system in different scenarios is examined. The influence of power outages and seasonal differences in solar radiation on the use of generator and electricity demand from the public power grid for different battery sizes is considered. Special attention is paid to the meteorological and atmospheric characteristics in Ghana, such as the rainy and dry seasons, as well as the harmattan, a seasonal wind in West Africa that carries a lot of dust.  

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Development of a Control for PV-Diesel-Hybrid Systems

Interview with Matthias Bebber from University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS)

While working for the EnerSHelF project, you are still enrolled as a student at H-BRS. Can you tell us a bit more about your academic background?

In 2015, I started studying mechanical engineering with a focus on mechatronics at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS). After completing my bachelor’s degree in 2019, I continued my studies with a master’s degree at H-BRS. I am currently preparing for my master’s thesis.

Your master’s thesis project will be published within the IZNE Working Paper Series. What is it about?

During my master’s project, I created a model of a photovoltaic (PV)-diesel-hybrid system, which has an additional battery storage system and is connected to the public power grid. With the help of this model and data of a hospital in Akwatia, Ghana, we investigated different influences on the system. For instance, we studied the impact of the different seasons – such as rainy season, dry season and the harmattan (characterized by a dry and dusty north-easterly wind) – on the PV yield and therefore on the system. In addition, we looked at how the power outages that occur commonly in this region would affect such a system.

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Collection and distribution of measurement data

Interview with Rone Yousif from University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. He is supervising the measurement concept at the three pilot sites of the EnerSHelF project in Ghana.

You recently joined the EnerSHelF project under work package 3.0. Can you tell a bit about your professional background and your experience in working with renewable energy?

I am very pleased that the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS) gave me the opportunity to actively contribute to the project. In 2013 I decided to study mechanical engineering as I am very technically oriented. As part of my master’s degree, I focused on solar power and I have dealt with issues of energy meteorology. My master’s thesis investigated the influence of aerosols and clouds on photovoltaics (PV). It was fascinating to see how dust outbreaks in Ghana affect the PV performance but also to face the challenges that occur in the energy sector.

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