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Renewable Energy Management and Strategies in Remote Locations.

A conference Paper


Engr. Ngang B. Ngang, FNSE,MIEEE

Chairman, Eket Branch

1.0 Introduction

The concern of every Nigerian is the unreliable power supply in the country. Industries are not depending on the

National grid to run the day to day business in order to produce goods and services. The Federal Government of

Nigeria initiated comprehensive sector reforms in 1999 to address these deep-rooted problems in the sector and

to harness the countrys generous energy resources for the countrys benefit through rapid access expansion.

The reform program led to the establishment of independent power plants across the country hoping to improve

performance and capital asset renewal in the core sector, including rehabilitation of generating plants,

construction of transmission lines, substations and distribution systems. The most frequent result observed are

a gradual deterioration of capital assets, large scale vandalism and theft of materials and low expectations of

service from the public utility. This endemic challenge has led to the research on alternative source of energy

for private industry owners. Given this background, the need to exploit the Renewable energy resources to meet

up with these challenges was conceived.

2.0 Renewable Energy Sources

This is sustainable energy; it does not lead to the depletion of the initial resource which is renewable

permanently at human scale. Their exploitation produces little or no waste and no polluting emissions. The

application of renewable energy system has become an important alternative as power provider (Juhari,2007).
Increase of electric utility rates and decrease of solar photovoltaic (PV) costs are creating a fast growing market

for residential solar power systems (Nathan , 2011). In view of the apparent unlimited potential energy, solar

energy came as the most promising of the renewable energy sources. The radiation of the suns energy is at a

rated value of 3.8x1023kW per second said (Majid, 2013 and Chiemeka ,2009. Renewable energy could be

obtained from the following sources: Solar,Wind,Hydro,Biomas and Tidal waves.

3.0 Review of Hybrid System

I will limit the discussion on Hybrid Models; this system involves more than one source of energy combined

together to produce electric energy.

The components of the photo voltaic/Wind/Diesel Generator Hybrid models are listed below:

Solar Panels, Wind Turbine, Battery Banks, Diesel Generator Set, Converter/Inverter and charge controller,

Photo voltaic (PV) are maintenance free equipment and more desired among other renewable energy sources

due to low pollutant emissions (Twaha, 2012). The use of hybrid PV-diesel generator battery system in

producing electric energy for a small Community in Ugep was presented by Ngang, 2015. Ismail, 2013

highlighted the importance in Palestine village, Middle East.

Khatib, 2011 discussed the benefits of such a system to the remote communities in Palestine as well.


Figures 3.1 to 3.3 respectively show the model systems of a design that could be used to illustrate renewable

energy system management and optimisation. In Fig. 3.1, the diesel generator of size 10kW was used to power

the estate alone and in Fig. 3.2, the solar PV of size 3kW connected to the DC busbar was introduced to reduce

the power output from the diesel generator for economic reasons. Figure 3.3 shows the configuration using the

wind turbine as a renewable energy source in the hybrid model. The best combination was used to power the

Housing estate whose load profile is shown in Fig. 3.4 with 7.463kwh/d. The estate also has an average peak of

0.59Kw as shown in Fig. 3.3.

The combine output power of diesel generator, PV and Wind Turbine is slightly higher than the demand in the

estate load profile to accommodate expansion as more staff and new buildings may spring up. Details of the

parameters of the various components used in the model system had been determined.
Fig. 3.1 Model System with only Diesel Generator

Fig. 3.2 Model System with Diesel Generator and solar PV

Fig. 3.3 Model System with Diesel Generator, Solar PV and Wind Turbine
Fig. 3.4 A typical load profile Courtesy of Ngatek Global Farms Limited

3.2 Wind Energy

Optimisation software explained that energy available in wind depends on density () and air velocity (). The

density changes with temperature and pressure, and depends on the elevation above sea level. The kinetic

energy (Eo ) of mass of air which is dis-placed through area (A) is E0 =1/2AV3

When wind moves across the turbine, the static pressure drops to a level lower than the atmospheric pressure,

inducing an extra wind deceleration. The phenomenon is represented by the maximum kinetic energy in the

form of Betz law, Emax =(8/27)AV3 .


Types of maintenance:

1. Breakdown maintenance:

In this type of maintenance, no care is taken for the machine, until equipment fails. Repair is then undertaken.

This type of maintenance could be used when the equipment failure does not significantly affect the operation

or production or generate any significant loss other than repair cost. However, an important aspect is that the

failure of a component from a big machine may be injurious to the operator. Hence breakdown maintenance

should be avoided.

2. Preventive maintenance :

It is a daily maintenance (cleaning, inspection, oiling and re-tightening), design to retain the healthy condition

of equipment and prevent failure through the prevention of deterioration, periodic inspection or equipment

condition diagnosis, to measure deterioration. It is further divided into periodic maintenance and predictive

maintenance. Just like human life is extended by preventive medicine, the equipment service life can be

prolonged by doing preventive maintenance.

2a. Periodic maintenance (Time based maintenance - TBM):

Time based maintenance consists of periodically inspecting, servicing and cleaning equipment and

replacing parts to prevent sudden failure and process problems. E.g. Replacement of coolant or oil every

15 days.
2b. Predictive maintenance:

This is a method in which the service life of important part is predicted based on inspection or diagnosis,

in order to use the parts to the limit of their service life. Compared to periodic maintenance, predictive

maintenance is condition-based maintenance. It manages trend values, by measuring and analyzing data

about deterioration and employs a surveillance system, designed to monitor conditions through an on-

line system. E.g. Replacement of coolant or oil, if there is a change in colour. Change in colour indicates

the deteriorating condition of the oil. As this is a condition-based maintenance, the oil or coolant is


3. Corrective maintenance :

It improves equipment and its components so that preventive maintenance can be carried out reliably.

Equipment with design weakness must be redesigned to improve reliability or improving maintainability. This

happens at the equipment user level. E.g. Installing a guard, to prevent the burrs falling in the coolant tank.

4. Maintenance prevention :

This program indicates the design of new equipment. Weakness of current machines is sufficiently studied (on

site information leading to failure prevention, easier maintenance and prevents of defects, safety and ease of

manufacturing). The observations and the study made are shared with the equipment manufacturer and

necessary changes are made in the design of new machine.

A typical maintenance model is shown in fig.4.1.

Fig.4.1 Maintenance model

4.1 Corrective, run-to-failure or breakdown maintenance (unplanned)

This method, defined as no maintenance activity, is performed on machinery until it fails. At first

impression this method seems the most cost effective because the manpower and their associated costs

are minimal.But closer examination shows that when the machinery fails, considerable expense is required to

allocate manpower on an emergency basis, repair/replacement parts, and lost revenues due to nonproduction

can mount rapidly depending upon the production process. Clearly, this method has the

highest associated cost and maintenance is unpredictable at best. In addition, an unexpected failure

can be dangerous to personnel and the facility.

4.2 Project maintenance

Project work is intended to make the plant or involved equipment better, while normal maintenance aims to

preserve the function of equipment by keeping equipment in its present condition. Project maintenance aims to

preserve the function of equipment by improving equipment. In order to increase reliability, planners must

consider projects at the corporate level. These projects will place new equipment and systems at the plant to

upgrade the old system. In addition to corporate level projects, the plant also carries out project work at the

plant level. Any work order that modifies equipment or restores equipment to perform at a superior level may

be considered a project. The plant should continually be evaluating project ideas for making the plant more

reliable. Renewable Energy system requires condition monitoring method preferably two-way communication

using wireless sensors.


The objectives are to minimise the systems total Net Present Cost (NPC) and the excess (dumped) energy The

sizing methodology utilises the HOMER Software which systematically searches for the optimal system

configuration that satisfies two objectives from the affordable and available components when it is off-grid. The

optimal system has to satisfy the conditions below.

Z=min [NPCtotal,Pexcess,total] 4.1

Here we have NPC total representing total net present cost, while P excess is the excess generated energy.

4.4 The objective function

In all optimisation problems, the objective function has to be developed. This will enable the determination of

optimal combination of components of different sizes that would be applied to minimise the total cost of the

system. The total net present cost is the objective function to be minimised.

Total NPC= (NPC PV+NPCdiesel+NPCbattery +NPCdummy *(CRF(ir,R)-1 4.2

Where CRF (ir,R)={ir(1+ir)R}/[1+ir]R-1 4.3

NPC total=iNPC 4.4

Minimise NPC total

subject to;

Pdiesel+Ppv +Pwt Ptotal 4.5

Fr*Especific DGtotal 4.6

f min F f max chosen values 4.7

PVArea*PSI I PVkw 4.8

Srmin SR Srmax expressed as1Kwh/m2 4.9

Where Especific is the specific electric energy generated per litre in Kwh/Litre and F r is the rate of fuel

consumption in litres/h.

f min is the lowest cost of diesel(fuel) in dollars per litre at the prevailing price

f max is the highest cost of diesel that can be bought per litre due to inflation .

F is the chosen price of diesel used in optimisation, which is 170.

Srmin is the minimum Peak Solar Intensity at the earth surface (I Kw/m2 )

Srmax is the maximum recorded annual solar radiation for the month ..

SR is the value of the radiation chosen scaled by the chosen software.

The various components of the Net Present Costs are discussed extensively as shown below:

These values are derived as follows:

4.5 Minimisation of total NPC.

The total net present cost (NPC) is defined as the present value of all the costs that incurs over their lifetimes,

which include the capital, replacement, operation and maintenance costs, excluding the salvage value of the
system components at the end of the project lifetime (Razak et al 2009). The net present cost for the system

components can be expressed as (Homer Energy, 2012; Kashefi., 2009):

NPCi=N i*[Ccap +Crep *Ki(ir,Li,yi)+C0&m *CRF(ir,R)] 4.10

whereN is the number of units,C cap is the capital cost,C rep is the replacement cost, and C 0&m is the annual

operation and maintenance cost of the is the rate ,and is given as 6% and R is the project life time

given as 25 years,CRF and K are capital recovery factor and single payment present worth which are defined as



Here, L is the components lifetime and y is number of replacements of the component during the lifetime of the

project; that represents a function of the lifetime of the component and the project. The total net present cost

otherwise called the life-cycle cost is the sum of the net present cost of the system components. The

determination of optimal sizes of different components in a hybrid system is a requirement to achieve

minimisation of total cost as explained by (Mendis, 2009.)

The various components of the Net Present Costs are discussed extensively as shown below:

5.0 Conclusion

Renewable Energy system preferably solar photovoltaic (PV) system has a great potential in future as one of the

renewable energy technologies for power generation. Renewable energy can bring electric power to remote

villages currently left off the grid. This will attract investment opportunities to small scale industries and access

to modern communications. A reliable and sustainable management strategy can bring expected results.

The government should encourage research on renewable energy to reduce the amount of gasses flared to the

atmosphere. The generation of energy from fossil fuels has enabled dramatic economic growth, with

environmental pollution. Photo Voltaic panels should be manufactured locally to reduce the cost for the average

income earner. Government policies should promote capacity building to meet skills requirements. Introduction

of financial risk mitigation tools for investors in this field would motivate private industries to invest.

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