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.

Why did you choose to specialize in the field of renewable energy, specifically photovoltaic solar systems?

Renewable energy and especially photovoltaic (PV) systems are future technologies. In times of decreasing fossil resources, it is important to do research on new energy sources that generate fewer CO2 emissions and do not pollute the environment. Furthermore, PV systems are a great way to ensure a stable power supply in combination with other energy sources.

In the context of EnerSHelF, it is particularly interesting to deal with challenges that occur when working on PV systems. These include the different weather conditions and infrastructural conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.

What are you currently working on for the EnerSHelF project?

At the EnerSHelF project, my task is the development of a model for a PV-diesel-hybrid system and of the control for such a system. Currently, I am preparing for my master’s thesis. For this, I try to build a control for the simulation model which was created at the master’s projects. The control will focus on the battery management and aims to secure the power supply during a power outage by using the battery storage without incorporating the diesel generator. Accordingly, the control must deal with power outages and with the impact of different PV yield over the year due to the different seasons.

Matthias Bebber is a master student in mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS). After completing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on mechatronics, he continued with his master’s degree at H-BRS. His master’s projects and thesis are situated at the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE) at H-BRS within the EnerSHelF project.