Management of Demand Profiles on Mini-Grids in Developing Countries Using Timeslot Allocation
Stand-alone mini-grids provide vital energy access to rural communities across the Developing World where economic constraints necessitate optimal cost-effectiveness without compromising reliability or quality of service. Managing electricity demand to match supply availability – for example, by incentivizing consumers to operate loads at specific times – can contribute to this aim. This paper addresses a method to achieve this, whereby timeslots are sold in which additional power is made available to participating consumers with high-powered, commercial loads, such as grain mills. Using a low-cost microprocessor to control remotely-switchable power sockets by wireless communications, circuits are activated according to the timeslots purchased without interruption of low-power (e.g. lighting and phone-charging) circuits. Informed by site survey data, laboratory tests demonstrated the system to be reliable and effective in maintaining demand closer to supply availability while avoiding overloads. This reduces losses and the need for storage while increasing energy access and return on investment.
Citation : Gammon, R., Boait, P. and Advani, V. (2016) Management of Demand Profiles on Mini-Grids in Developing Countries Using Timeslot Allocation. Proceedings of the IEEE PowerAfrica 2016 Conference 28 June - 02 July 2016, Livingstone, Zambia
Research Group : Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
Research Institute : Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)
Peer Reviewed : Yes