Investigation of how operational and climatic factor affect PV-grid tied inverter: a case study of Ethiopia and Zambia.

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Redate, Shawell Endalamaw
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The University of Zambia.
Zambia and Ethiopia are two countries from southern and eastern of Africa due to their geographical location and other factor the environment condition is different. The research aims to Investigation how operational and climatic factor affect PV-grid tied inverter. In Zambia the study focused on the two main solar plants which is under ZESCO national grid at malty facility zone (MFZ), the first one is the 54 megawatts Bangweulu solar power plant, second one is 34MW Ngonye solar photovoltaic (PV) plant. In Ethiopia eight min off-grid site under Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) is included. Beltu, Behima, Mino, Ungoge, Korhele,Tum, Omorate and Kofetu. A survey is conducted how operational and climatic factor affect PV-grid tied inverter (GTI) in the above-mentioned area. Using Microsoft excel the environmental \climate condition, Solar radiation, Air temperature and Rain falls of the two country Zambia and Ethiopia is investigated and analysed for each selected site. A questionnaire and a Simi-structure interview are conducted. The basic inverter challenges are investigated from the collected data and the problem is analyzed based on the specific inverter data sheet. The data sheets of the inverter for each site under this study are attached. Environmental condition affects almost all solar plant sites which are under this study. The temperature of Lusaka is higher than Addis Ababa by 5.63°C and even in the plant under this study; temperature rise is one of the challenges on the inverter performance, sensitive electronic component bent due to excessive temperature. On the other side in Ethiopia Addis Ababa excessive rain affect the inverter. Addis Ababa has about 1.32 times more rainfall than Lusaka, (Addis Ababa’s 79.54mm vs Lusaka’s average of 60.34mm). For that reason, most of the inverter in Ethiopia on the mini off-grid site is affected by heavy rain condition. Finally, the real-time performance of the inverter of the off-grid PV mini-grid system installed in a small remote town in Ethiopia is analyzed using measured meteorological data. From on- grid and off-grid inverter performance challenges, which the researcher collected from different plant the main ones are climate or environmental effect and also over load. Overload is one of the frequent challenges in koftu, behama and amorita this can be due to high population growth and unexpected power demand from the community.
Thesis of Master of Engineering in Electrical Power Engineering.