Solar (photovoltaic) biogas hybrid energy calculator for home and farm setup
Msiska, Yesaya Wilton
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Zambia’s electricity is largely from hydro power which has an installed capacity of 2,347 MW representing 96 % of national consumption while the remaining 4 % is from other sources such as fossil fuels. With low level of rainfall recorded in the past few years, Zambia was left grappling with electricity deficit which brought a rise in demand for renewable energy sources. This formed the basis for this study to design a solar (photovoltaic) biogas hybrid energy calculator for home and farm setup that could make it easier for retailers of renewable energy goods and services to design systems quicker and easier and give tentative costs of the systems. The calculator was designed using Visual Basic software on which three forms were created i.e. the Solar form to calculate solar system and backup system, the Biogas form for determining biogas digester for cooking and Solar-Biogas Hybrid form for calculating an energy mix. Literature were reviewed to help develop the calculator and validate the calculations which where imbedded in it and appropriate assumptions made to suit the design. As an example, a load was selected consisting of fluorescent lamps, radio, laptop, 14” television, satellite decoder, deep freezer frost free, lights, and a 2 plate cooker, making a total wattage of 3.11kW and a Watt Hour usage of 17.826 kWh. The load parameters were imbedded in the software and a 32 % division between Solar and Biogas was selected. A system consisting of the following was designed: 2000W/24V inverter costing K 6000, 4* 250Ah Battery costing K20,800, 8 * 200 W solar panels costing K 9000, a 14 m3 digester costing K8,405 and a 3 kVA biogas generator costing K8405. For the Biogas digester for cooking, a cooking period of 2 hrs was inserted and cow manure as substrate chosen. A 4 m3 digester costing K 4,189 was designed and 1.3648 kg substrate quantity was determined. Key words: Solar- biogas calculator, solar system, biogas digester, solar biogas system.
The University of Zambia
SubjectSolar biogas system--Zambia
- Engineering