Non-Conventional Generation: Applications and Experiences in Africa
Summary: Solar Power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power systems (CSP). CSP use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
Relevance to Africa: Diesel generation has a large existing fleet in Africa that must be managed and maintained. The interest around the installation of Diesel/Solar hybrids has grown recently in Africa but it brings some technical challenges that need to be addressed.
Wind Generation: African Examples
Summary: Producing energy using the kinetic energy from the wind has become extremely popular in the recent years. From smaller turbines to larger ones the units are connected in arrays in order to form what is referred as wind farms which are becoming an increasingly important source of renewable energy and are used by many countries as part of a strategy to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
Relevance to Africa: In the process of reducing the dependence on fossil fuel based generation the installation of Wind Farms in Africa has increased significantly over the last years. At the end of 2013 the installed capacity in some countries has been quite significant: Egypt (550MW), Morocco (291MW), Ethiopia (171MW), Tunisia (104MW) and Cape Verde (24MW).
Waste to Energy: African Examples
Summary: Energy recovery from waste is important. Because waste is a natural by-product of living, it serves as a better (renewable) source of energy than fossil fuels. This topic includes waste management, processes that produce electricity and heat through incineration of waste, production of combustible fuel commodities from such processes, design of such processes/ technologies, policies around mitigation of resulting greenhouse gas emissions and corresponding technologies, economics of waste to energy technologies, among others.
Relevance to Africa: Effective waste management on the African continent including gathering of waste, separation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, and incineration of waste is still being developed. Waste is an energy source that is not yet be heavily regulated and may yield promising results for entrepreneurs involved in waste to energy. Whether the energy is produced in the small scale (like for rural areas) or in the large scale (in cities and urban areas), it is an important sector to be invested in on the continent.
International Experience in Electrification Projects
Summary: Several projects are undertaken to meet the growing population while minimum work is done to provide the adequate generation and transmission expansion to evaluate power to cutovers. Several projects in off grid by using wind technology, energy storage and diesel generation and solar power are done off grid and some are alee also connected to the existing grid to meet the increasing demands. These projects are based on required technology development, financing and policy and institutional planning. The investments are calculated based on the benefit to customer, utility and new vision of projects such micro grid and some innovative smart grid functions are needed to properly provide electrification for sustainable development.
Relevance to Africa: The current legacy generation capacity and transmission facility are in adequate to meet the growing population growth as well as help to promote suitable development. The design and development of new project for off grid and grid connected resources will help to increase adequacy, and reliability of the legacy networks. The need for modernizing infrastructure of the industry is timely and help to reduce blackout as well increase market share of evolving in electricity business. The challenges of many uncertainties in planning and operations, offer opportunities to share experiences of best practices. There are so many hard and soft uncertainties to be included while designing electrification process and technologies that will support it.
Co-generation: African Examples
Summary: Co-generation or combined heat and power (CHP) is the use of a heat engine or power station to simultaneously generate electricity and useful heat. It is also thermodynamically efficient use of fuel. In separate production of electricity some energy must be discarded as waste heat, but in co-generation this thermal energy is put to use.
Relevance to Africa: Co-generation drives towards the improvement of energy efficiency which is with no doubt a subject that requires big focus in Africa. Introducing these efficient technologies requires the share of knowledge between countries in the region combined with the overview of the international best practices in the subject.
Summary: Micro-grid is a concept based on the association of a variety of DG energy sources, loads and energy storage systems aiming to guarantee a reliable and continuous power supply. The main microgrid issues are: smooth switching between On-and-Off-Grid operation modes, protection devices, management of several generation sources and storage Systems, etc.
Relevance to Africa: Micro-grids and their control provide DSM (Demand Side Management), PQ (Power Quality) improvement and load peak shifting and shaving which are major concerns in many African countries. Moreover, islanding mode operation offers steady community-level electricity service to rural zones even under grid faults.
Power Availability, Reliability, Communications and Security
Summary: Power quality includes voltage disturbances, harmonics, frequency regulation. Reliability relates to continuity of supply.
Relevance to Africa: Increasing the number of connections is key to the African grids but at the same time a level of Power Quality and reliability should be maintained.
Power System Stability and Security
Summary: Stability refers to the continuance of intact operation of the power system following a disturbance. Security refers to the degree of risk in the ability to survive imminent disturbances (contingencies) without interruption of load supply. Stability and security are time-varying attributes.
Relevance to Africa: Stable and secure operation of Africa’s power System covers national and continental grids. For stable and efficient operation of the system, multi-purpose controls must be developed taking into account regional security and contractual interplay between African power grids.
Communications Suited to Africa
Summary: Communications is key while building reliable power grid networks.
Relevance to Africa: Given its vast territory the communication in Africa will vary in nature so it would be great to see what is available and what are the economics specifically related to the African scenario.
Summary: The use of smart grid an aggregation of generation, transmission distribution and consumption of electricity involve use of sensing, communication computation on and control technologies to improve the performance of the grid. These future grids are planned to improve the current legacy system to handle bidirectional flow, change protection systems to handle DG, introduce new policies on generation and load dispatch and also create incentives and policies for performing demand response. The value of such grids is reasons for the development in developed countries to ensure secured and reliable power systems at affordable cost. These grids are designed to be self-healing, reconfigurable and flexible to allow new technology and penetration of renewable energy sources and real time measurements for automation for increased performance.
Relevance to Africa: The smart grid is not a new way to deliver power but it is should be the innovative and just- in- time technology needed to deliver premium power to meet the challenge faced by the power electrification in Africa. The grids will have the capability to handle demand variations and uncertainties, allow for flexible energy sources such as wind, solar and biomes as well as incorporation of real time measurements and automation technologies for ensuring power that is reliable, easy to operate and maintain, The rapid development of micro grid technology and inter regional power transfers will benefit from the evolution of smart grid features for the Africa power electrification.
Power System Monitoring, Operation and Control
Summary: The designed real time controls and management systems intended to detect incipient abnormal system conditions, to recommend or and to take predetermined counteractions to preserve system integrity and ascertain power system performance. Within this topic the impact and reliability of different communication technologies play a key role.
Relevance to Africa: Monitoring and protection tools need to be coordinated for a harmonious interplay between interconnected African countries. Balance between economy and security is quite important for African countries, characterized by uneven social and economic development level.
Summary: Power system protection is a branch of electrical power engineering that deals with the protection of electrical power systems from faults through the isolation of faulted parts from the rest of the electrical network. The objective of a protection scheme is to keep the power system stable by isolating only the components that are under fault, whilst leaving as much as the network as possible still in operation. It is deployed from generation to transmission and distribution network systems.
Relevance to Africa: With the characteristics of the African continent where long distances are very common innovative protection schemes are certainly key.
Appropriate System Design, Management and Integration
Summary: Regional Integration comprises the interconnection of grids between bordering countries in order to share the installed capacity and eventually selling excess generation to other countries as well as improving the power security.
Relevance to Africa: Given its vast territory integrating grids across Africa requires. It is not unusual to have to deal with low-load and long distances so the systems must be suited for this reality in Africa.
Single-Wire Earth Return (SWER) Lines: Design and Deployment
Summary: SWER is basically a single-wire system using ground as the return conductor. It is commonly used in rural, sparsely populated, areas in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, all throughout Africa, and in India.
Relevance to Africa: This system can help to increase the electrification to the rural areas of Africa but it also brings with it some technical challenges especially concerning voltage regulation that cannot be made using reactive power. Other issues arise around safety which relies on effective grounding and maintenance of the system.
Billing and Commercial Losses
Summary: Evaluation of losses in billing consists of the metering from which the bills are calculated; the policies behind selection of rates for energy consumed charged to customers, and demand, which power utilities have to meet.
Relevance to Africa: Several meters installed at residential, commercial and industrial locations in African countries are outdated, having been installed decades ago. Meter technologies have advanced over the years, and some require periodic calibration. Monitoring and tracking of monthly usage and bills will likely become of interest to African consumers in the near future.
System Planning - Innovative Means to Enable Electrification in Africa in the Proper Pace
Summary: Appropriate system planning for the electric power infrastructure on the continent of Africa requires the integration of generation, transmission and distribution facilities to serve over one billion people occupying 58 diverse countries. The load centers on the continent offer varying levels of load densities from metropolitan to rural communities, that require creative approaches both from a technical and policy perspective. Thus, developing a rational and efficient plan that will support future load growth and deliver safe, economic, and reliable service to end users for years to come is needed. The scope of system planning includes the strategic allocation and development of generation resources, the optimal and efficient economic use of the existing and future transmission and distribution systems, to include the integration of distributed energy resources (DER’s), micro-grids and energy efficiency. In addition, the scope touches upon the polices that address a workable regulatory frame work, both economic and market concerns, along with impacts to the environment and improving access to electricity at healthcare facilities and schools.
Relevance to Africa: The African continent continues to grow in both population and in business development. Facilitating this growth requires robust electric power infrastructure that is safe, reliable and economically feasible to meet growing demand. Achieving the optimal power grid that supports the growth, as well the under-served communities, requires adequate system planning. Electric power system planning is paramount for future growth and first-time access in African nations.
Summary: Demand Side Management (DSM) consists of all the measures that can be applied to conserve energy or promote energy efficiency, reduce the energy demand a public utility must serve and or shift the use of energy to periods of lower demand.
Relevance to Africa: Demand Side Management (DSM) has been part of several Energy Efficiency programs across Africa. Introducing these efficient technologies requires the share of knowledge between countries in the region combined with the overview of the international best practices in the subject.
Asset Management - Dealing With the New and the Aging Existing Infra-structure
Summary: The power industry is capital-intensive, with the reliability of power dependent on assets, which ought to be managed in such a way as to maximize their lifetimes. Ineffective management, including excessive loading of equipment, using equipment longer than the manufacturer expected lifetimes among others, greatly increases safety risk and reduces efficiency and reliability of power. Uncertainty modeling and lifecycle costing are important aspects of making optimum decisions on the management of power assets.
Relevance to Africa: In parts of Africa, population has grown greatly over the decades without a concurrent growth in the power infrastructure serving consumers. Infrastructure is aging. Appropriate management procedures and numerical methodologies for meeting defined objectives based on uncertainties in variables will improve decisions on whether to and when to replace/maintain power equipment; also how much new infrastructure to add.
Energy Management Systems
Summary: EMS – Energy Management System is a collection of advanced power system control software applications including SCADA, automatic generation control and network applications to provide 7x24 real time control of the power system.
Relevance to Africa: As Africa’s power grid becomes more interconnected an Energy Management System would be required for system wide visibility across regional and country boundaries.
Summary: Ancillary services are defined as all these activities on the interconnected grid that are necessary to support the transmission of power while meeting reliability and ensuring required degree of quality and safety.
Relevance to Africa: The African transmission is weak and other vulnerable and poorly funded . However deployment of ancillary services will secure the network under different uncertainties in load amen variability of resources . The As installed in the right location will minimize blackout and minimize unbalance frequency, There is market for As part of strategy to meet the regulatory mandate for defining efficient electricity in market. The future of successful and long electricity market depends on properly coordinated and optimized resources.
Building Sustainability in Environmental Protection, Human Safety and Skills
Summary: The concept of climate change revolves around the quantity of greenhouse gases being released into the environment by human actions. While electrification needs must be met for development, attention must be paid towards technologies that minimize negative impacts on the environment. Monitoring of released greenhouse gases from generation should be considered.
Relevance to Africa: The continent of Africa is pursuing electrification growth and should consider all potential sources and fuels for generation. However, policies that define a fair threshold of released gases from power generation in the continent should be defined and technologies to meet them designed.
Grid Code Compliance when Connecting Renewables: Experiences in Africa and Abroad
Summary: Grid Code Compliance set up the rules for connection of Renewables to the grid and typically will include frequency control, voltage control, supply of reactive power, speed of response, fault ride-through.
Relevance to Africa: With the increase of Renewables connecting to the grids in Africa it is important to share the experiences so far both in Africa and abroad to make sure that the insertion of Renewables do not create instability to the grids.
Summary: Local production is a key issue for sustainable development. R&D focusing on such local production can be from design methods to specific components or systems, like smart meters, Energy management Systems, PV inverter, etc.
Relevance to Africa: Technology transfer and R&D focusing on Local production require sharing of knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice-versa) with identification of valuable product or service leading to local job creation.