Proceeding of the First International Conference on "Low-cost, electricity generating heat engines for rural areas"
International Conference on "Low-cost, electricity generating heat engines for rural areas"
from 2-4-2012 to 3-4-2012
[en] Rural Electrification ; Rural Clinic ; Energy
[en] This paper highlights technical and economic choices for rural electrification in Africa and presents the rationale for trigeneration in health and education applications. An archetypal load profile for a rural health clinic (25 kWh/day 118-139 kWht ) is described and a regional analysis is performed for sub Saharan Africa by aggregating NASA meteorological data for e.g. insolation, temperature, and heating and cooling degree days using correlates to latitude. As a baseline for comparison, the technical, economic (using discounted cash flow) and environmental aspects of traditional electrification approaches, Photovoltaic (PV) systems and diesel generators, are quantified and options for meeting heating and cooling loads (e.g. gas-fired heaters, absorption chillers, or solar water heaters) are evaluated alongside an emerging micro-scale Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology featuring a solar thermal Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). Photovoltaics hybridized with LPG/Propane and μ-CSP trigeneration are the lowest cost alternatives for satisfying important but often overlooked thermal requirements, with cost advantages for μ-CSP depending on latitudinal variation in insolation and thermal parameters. For a 15-year project lifetime the net present cost for meeting clinic energy needs varied from 44-55k USD, with specific levelized electricity costs of 0.26-0.31 USD/kWh. Diesel generation is both costly and polluting (94 tons CO2 per site over 15 years), while LPG/Propane based heating and cooling results in 160-400 tons CO2 emittted. The comparative analysis of available technologies implies that where the energy demand includes a mixture of electrical and thermal loads, as in typical health and education outposts, μ-CSP trigeneration approaches are cost effective and a non-carbon emitting.