An overview of the technical challenges facing the deployment of electric cooking on hybrid PV/diesel mini-grid in rural Tanzania – A case study simulation

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Abstract

This paper lays out a methodology that could be used by mini-grid developers to assess the design readiness and future design requirement to accommodate electric cooking (eCook). While mini-grids in developing countries continue to grow in popularity, typically their designs are not yet sufficiently developed to accommodate large power appliances. Moving towards clean cooking using electricity will cause technical risks for mini-grids in terms of voltage drop, voltage unbalances and capacity shortage. In this paper, these parameters are studied on a mini-grid network modeled in OpenDSS/MATLAB as a simulation platform, where the selected mini-grid topology is hub and spoke. Two network studies are considered, the first investigates the limitations of the mini-grid in terms of the generation capacity available to supply the demand for different levels of eCook penetration, while the second focuses on the network constraints for different eCook penetrations. In general, the results show that voltage drop and voltage imbalance issues can be reasonably and affordably addressed by using cables of a larger cross-sectional area. The main issue prohibiting higher penetrations of eCook centre on generation capacity requirements, which led to a techno-economic analysis being conducted to assess future mini-grid sizes as well as targeting economic and environmental objectives and meeting the overall demand on a generically representative mini-grid in a rural region in East Africa. The discussion section in this paper highlights the main barriers to the accommodation of eCook on rural mini-grids and presents suggestions for future work that addresses new design specifications for the next generation of eCook mini-grids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3761
Number of pages18
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • clean cooking
  • low-and middle-income countries
  • rural electrification
  • mini-grids
  • eCook
  • technical challenges
  • demand-side management

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