Tag Archives: Interview

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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A Glimpse Behind the Scenes of the EnerSHelF project

Interview with Samantha Antonini from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences on her tasks within the EnerSHelF project. She unravels her role as a linkage between project partners, researchers, and donors and the affiliated administrative challenges.

Besides the academic research and technological challenges surrounding EnerSHelF, its administration is central for the smooth progression of the project. Can you explain your role within the project in this regard?

I am responsible for facilitating collaboration across multidisciplinary work packages and reporting the project status to our project leaders and donors. In doing so, my work entails a diverse field of activities: I monitor the progress of research activities, generate the necessary documentation, organize regular team meetings, and assist staff and scientists with creating protocols, reports and many more. I also provide support for operational, procurement and legal aspects.

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The Ongoing Process of Collecting Meteorological Data

Interview with Seyni Salack and Samuel Guug from WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) on how they collect meteorological data for the EnerSHelF project at the field sites in Ghana.

WASCAL is involved in WP 3.2, which aims to forecast the key meteorological variables for solar power generation and consumption at the field sites. How does WASCAL collaborate with the University of Augsburg within the work package?

In collaboration with the University of Augsburg (UniA), WASCAL provides technical support in collecting, processing, and analyzing observational data from the local observatory networks and pilot sites. It also acts as an interface between the EnerSHelF project teams in Germany and local stakeholders, for instance the Ghana Meteorological Agency. With this, we aim to foster synergies among the actors to achieve a seamless workflow.

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How Internal and External Factors Influence PV Solar Solutions

Interview with Prof. Stefanie Meilinger from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. She explains the overall aim of work package 3 and how different data is used to optimize the operation of PV Solar solutions at health facilities in Ghana.

Work package 3 (WP 3) works on examining ways for the country- and sector specified optimization of PV solutions. What is the overall aim of this work package?

Briefly speaking, WP 3 and its sub work packages look at different factors that are influencing the operation of solar PV hybrid systems at the three selected health facilities. There are two strings of internal and external factors, which must be considered: The available solar resources and the demand for electricity. Our aim is to improve both data bases to enhance and optimize the PV solutions.

The data on solar resources depend on climatic factors and on weather conditions. This information is collected by looking at historical climate data and local measurements performed in Ghana by WP 3.2. The collected data is critical to forecast how much energy can be produced at what time. The measurements include both local solar radiation, temperatures, and other meteorological variables.

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How Measurement Data is Used to Derive a Load Model for Ghanaian Health Facilities

Interview with Prof. Thorsten Schneiders from Cologne University of Applied Sciences – project leader of EnerSHelF’s work package 3.1. He explains the importance of measuring the power demand and load structure to identify the appropriate technology for the implementation at the three health facilities in Ghana.

Work package 3 aims to improve the country- and sector-based forecast of solar power generation (PV) and consumption (health facilities). What is the specific aim of your work package 3.1 “Electricity demand of the Ghanaian Health Sector”?

To supplement existing power supply systems with renewable energy sources, more information about the power demand in a higher resolution is needed. Our aim is to fill these information gaps by long-term measurements of power demand and load structure at several medium-sized health facilities. In a second step, we use the measurement data to derive a load model for Ghanaian health facilities, which can generate synthetic load profiles as close to reality as possible. We have observed that newly installed technology such as LED lights is sensitive to voltage fluctuations occurring in Ghana. These power system transients should also be qualified and quantified by means of the measurements in order to identify the appropriate technology to implement at such sites.

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Green, Yellow, and Red – How a Traffic Light System Could Guide the Users at the Health Facilities in Ghana

Interview with Steven Denk from WestfalenWIND, project leader of EnerSHelF’s work package 2. He explains the importance of an easy and accessible communication to guide the users of the PV solar system at the three health facilities.

Work package 2 aims to promote user acceptance and sustainability of context-specific and marketable PV-based energy solutions. What does this mean in the local context of Ghana, can you explain?

This means that we will try to create an understanding of electricity generation and consumption among the local population that gets in touch with the system. To achieve this, we will choose a simple graphical display, which will guide the users to ensure the optimal usage of solar power in a comprehensible way.

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How the EnerSHelF Project Aims to Promote Market-based PV Energy Solutions in the Ghanaian Health Sector

Interview with Prof. Dr. Katja Bender and Callistus Agbaam from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. They explain, how work package 1 examines the Ghanaian political economy structure to understand processes that support or hamper the sustainable energy transition in the health and energy sectors.

Work package 1 aims to examine the political economy of a sustainable energy transition in the Ghanaian health sector. What are the specific aims of your work package?

The specific aim of work package 1 (WP 1) is twofold. First, at the national level, we aim to analyze the political economy structures that hinder or facilitate institutional change towards a sustainable energy transition in the health and energy sectors. By this, we seek to identify key decision makers or coalitions of change agents and the corresponding decision-making processes or their influencing factors, which have led to the emergence of the current institutional status quo.

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‘Off-grid and On-grid Solutions not only for Healthcare Facilities but also for Surrounding Communities’

Interview with Dr. Catherina Cader and Dr. Philipp Blechinger from Reiner Lemoine Institute. They explain how work package 3.4 of the EnerSHelF project develops a cost-effective electrification strategy to implement PV-hybrid systems for the health care facilities and surrounding communities.

Work package 3 aims to improve the country- and sector-based forecast of solar power generation (PV) and consumption (health facilities). What is the specific aim of your work package “Development of an electrification strategy for medical institutions”?

In our work package, we develop a data-driven nationwide market introduction strategy of PV-hybrid systems for health care facilities and surrounding communities in Ghana. For the derivation of the strategy, infrastructure data and spatially resolved socio-economic data in combination with irradiation data will be used. Thereby, a technical-economic evaluation allows an assessment of the market potential for PV-hybrid systems in the Ghanaian health care facilities. Finally, the results will be used to develop a comprehensive, cost-effective electrification strategy that considers off-grid and on-grid solutions not only for healthcare facilities but also for surrounding communities.

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How Meteorological Data is used in the EnerSHelF Project

Interview with Prof. Harald Kunstmann and Dr. Windmanadga Sawadogo from University of Augsburg. They explain, how work package 3.2 uses the analysis of meteorological data to select the best configuration for the solar power generation at the three selected health facilties.

Work package 3 aims to improve the country- and sector-based forecast of solar power generation (PV) and consumption (health facilities). What is the specific aim of your work package “High resolution energy meteorological forecasts for Ghana”?

Our working group aims to forecast the key meteorological variables for solar power generation and consumption at the field sites. That includes for instance solar irradiation and air temperature.

How do you address this, what activities have you already started to implement the necessary measurements?

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