Faculty Advisor: Dr. Abigail Mechtenberg
Empowering Nigerians to Power Nigeria: Understanding the relationship between demand and capacity shortage to Design Multiple Energy Source Input Charge Controller with Locally Built Systems
Our analysis of previous literature, “Energy Optimization Map for Off-Grid Health Clinics in Nigeria” (Anayochukwu) provides analysis of weather conditions in areas and how that affects cost of setting up power for healthcare in those regions. Since our research has been able to design some devices such as the gravity light and bicycle generators and wind-turbines, capacity shortages can be allowed within these systems while taking into account that locally built systems can be used to account for the capacity shortages. In order for this collaboration between the systems to occur, there needs to be availability of charge controllers. Charge controllers are typically set up to work with singular energy sources. However, the combination of multiple energy sources would require a charge controller that would allow for seamless interaction between the sources.
Simulations being worked on using HOMER Energy would allow for economic understanding of current system set ups and also allow data generated from locally built devices so as to understand how much cost can be cut down. The design of this charge controllers would require multiple simulations using different software such as HOMER energy and MATLAB Simscape.
This research focuses on designing more energy generation systems that can be incorporated together to create a mini-grid accompanied with multiple-input charge controllers. The vast majority of charge controllers are designed and built for one energy sources and typically for solar panels and/or wind turbines and assume electricity demand does not grow significantly. This research would build upon collaborations developed over 2018 summer and 2019 winter break.
As I am currently running several simulations utilizing HOMER Energy and Matlab Simscape Electrical power system simulations, I plan on corroborating the data that would be obtained from simulation with actual data. The vital research objective involves understanding the level of uncertainty in small scale electricity generating devices and how it affects the ability of the charge controller to implement efficient maximum power point tracking control algorithms. The goal would be to create the foundation for a senior undergraduate thesis on the trajectory for Nigeria to implement Smart Grids.