Tag Archives: Interview

Developing an Advisor and Planning Tool for Micro Grid Systems

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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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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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Setting up a Photovoltaic-Hybrid System in Rural Ghana

Interview with Mohammed Abass from WestfalenWIND. He talks about his role in the EnerSHelF project and the challenges they faced when setting up a Photovoltaic-hybrid system at the pilot site at Kologo.

You recently joined the EnerSHelF project through its industry partner WestfalenWIND. Can you tell a bit about your professional background and role within the project?

I completed my B.Sc. in Physics at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, in 2012. In 2014, I came to Germany to do my master’s degree at University of Duisburg-Essen and now hold a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. My studies were based within the internationally oriented study program International Studies in Engineering (ISE) and I specialized in energy and environmental engineering.

My role within the EnerSHelF project is to assist in setting up a photovoltaic (PV)-hybrid system at the pilot site in Kologo, Ghana. Additionally, I help to promote user acceptance of PV systems as well as its optimal usage. That also entails to enhance the understanding of sustainable electricity generation across the community. I think that if you want to bring new things to places or people, it is important to create the right access. Encouragingly, I noticed that the acceptance for PV systems in Kologo is already very high. Another part of my role within the project is the documentation of the process of setting up the PV-hybrid system in Kologo.

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Analysing the Political Economy of Sustainable Energy Transition in the Ghanaian Health Sector

Watch the interview with Callistus Agbaam, researcher for the EnerSHelF project at the International Centre for Sustainable Development at University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. By clicking on “continue reading →”, you can see the transcript of the interview below.

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The multifaceted contribution of Ghanaian project partners

Interview with Dr. Emmanuel Ramde from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. He explains the many areas he is involved in for the EnerSHelF project

As an associated partner to the EnerSHelF project, the Brew-Hammond Energy Centre (TBHEC) at KNUST is involved in WP3.1, which aims to provide a power demand model for Ghanaian hospitals. What is your specific role within this work package?

My specific role within this work package is manifold and diverse. First of all, I use my knowledge and understanding of the energy landscape in Ghana to get the right input parameters for the expected outputs of the developed model. Furthermore, I liaise with the utilities to get data for some selected hospitals. That also included locating a health facility in Kumasi which is now a part of the EnerSHelF project as a pilot site. During this process, I initiated a collaboration agreement with the management of the facility and coordinated the recent installation of the weather station and of the load measurement devices.

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The market potential of photovoltaic in Ghana: Analysing institutional structures

Interview with Ana Maria Perez Arredondo from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. She explains how and why she examines institutional structures in Ghana and points out linkages of EnerSHelF to her doctoral thesis on One Health.

You recently joined work package 1 of the EnerSHelF project which is examining the political economy structure of Ghana. Can you explain your role within this work package?

Sure. I will be looking at how the dissemination of technology, particularly photovoltaic (PV), is happening in Ghana. In particular, I will interview managers of health facilities to evaluate the challenges they have in relation to energy supply and their impressions towards renewable and non-centralized energy sources. The goal is to evaluate the market potential for PV.

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Interdisciplinary Exchange in the EnerSHelF project

Interview with Sarah Rabe from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. She talks about her role in the project as a linkage between the different disciplines, ensuring an active exchange among the work packages throughout the research process.

Interdisciplinarity is at the core of the EnerSHelF project as different academic disciplines and industrial partners are involved. What is the purpose of this holistic approach?

The holistic approach arises almost automatically out of the project’s topic. The technological transition towards renewable energy – in this case solar energy through photovoltaics (PV) – can only work if the product is of high quality and adapted to the specific region. But even well-engineered technology is pointless if it is not usable for or accepted by the people who are supposed to adapt it. Therefore, one needs different disciplines like engineering, meteorology, and socio-economy to tackle a holistic problem like the energy self-sufficiency of health facilities.

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How Photovoltaic Solar Systems are Modeled

Interview with Samer Chaaraoui from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Sankt Augustin, on the process of modeling photovoltaic systems. In cooperation with other members of the EnerSHelF project, he works on the mathematical representation of different effects and events that influence the operation of the system

When I searched for academic articles on solar photovoltaic modeling and simulation, I have seen a lot of equations and mathematical formulas. Can you explain in a more accessible way what modeling of photovoltaic systems encompasses?

By modeling photovoltaic (PV) systems, we try to find a mathematical representation of effects and events happening inside a PV system. With this representation, we can simulate processes, such as the conversion of solar radiation to electrical power, in order to estimate solar yields – for instance for economic and ecological business case analyses.

Since the full representation of the real world is not viable, we try to find mathematical representations which are simple enough to be calculated quickly and are complex enough to give an acceptable result. Therefore, it is especially important to validate modeling results with real world measurements, to estimate the performance of the model.

You will find many approaches and equations, trying to represent PV systems, which range from simple physical equations to more complex methods. Each of these approaches result from different demands towards the use case, usability, and accuracy of the model.

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Whom to ask? How quantitative and qualitative data is collected in Ghana

Interview with Dr. Kennedy Alatinga of the University for Development Studies on his involvement in the project as an associated partner. He explains his role in the quantitative and qualitative data collection in Ghana

You are an associated partner to the EnerSHelF project and involved in three work packages. Can you tell us about your role within these distinct packages?

I am the Country Project Manager of EnerSHelF in charge of the socio-economic component of the project in Ghana. In my position, I am involved in developing survey instruments for data collection and analysis. Another major task is to ensure that the project team gets ethical clearance from the Ghana Health Service Ethical Review Committee for the project – which I already secured.

How do you implement your tasks and areas of responsibility?

I am leading the development of both qualitative and quantitative data collection instruments. With these we plan to assess the impact of the institutional framework – both in terms of prevailing technologies as well as socio-economic conditions – on the decision-making behaviour of market actors regarding PV solutions.

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