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Feasibility of pico-hydro and photovoltaic hybrid power systems for remote villages in Cameroon

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  • Nfah, E.M.
  • Ngundam, J.M.

Abstract

Pico-hydro (pH) and photovoltaic (PV) hybrid systems incorporating a biogas generator have been simulated for remote villages in Cameroon using a load of 73kWh/day and 8.3kWp. Renewable energy systems were simulated using HOMER, the load profile of a hostel in Cameroon, the solar insolation of Garoua and the flow of river Mungo. For a 40% increase in the cost of imported power system components, the cost of energy was found to be either 0.352€/kWh for a 5kW pico-hydro generator with 72kWh storage or 0.396€/kWh for a 3kWp photovoltaic generator with 36kWh storage. These energy costs were obtained with a biomass resource cost of 25€/tonne. The pH and PV hybrid systems both required the parallel operation of a 3.3kW battery inverter with a 10kW biogas generator. The pH/biogas/battery systems simulated for villages located in the south of Cameroon with a flow rate of at least 92l/s produced lower energy costs than PV/biogas/battery systems simulated for villages in the north of Cameroon with an insolation level of at least 5.55kWh/m2/day. For a single-wire grid extension cost of 5000€/km, operation and maintenance costs of 125€/yr/km and a grid power price of 0.1€/kWh, the breakeven grid extension distances were found to be 12.9km for pH/biogas/battery systems and 15.2km for PV/biogas/battery systems respectively. Investments in biogas based renewable energy systems could thus be considered in the National Energy Action Plan of Cameroon for the supply of energy to key sectors involved in poverty alleviation.

Suggested Citation

  • Nfah, E.M. & Ngundam, J.M., 2009. "Feasibility of pico-hydro and photovoltaic hybrid power systems for remote villages in Cameroon," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1445-1450.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:34:y:2009:i:6:p:1445-1450
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2008.10.019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nfah, E.M. & Ngundam, J.M. & Tchinda, R., 2007. "Modelling of solar/diesel/battery hybrid power systems for far-north Cameroon," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 832-844.
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    7. Nfah, E.M. & Ngundam, J.M. & Vandenbergh, M. & Schmid, J., 2008. "Simulation of off-grid generation options for remote villages in Cameroon," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1064-1072.
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