A Revolution for Grid Stability
Using embedded renewable generation can help to stabilise rural distribution networks and to avoid blackouts in developing countries.
Many developing and newly industrialised countries rely on extremely large electricity distribution networks that operate at the limit of voltage stability. As a result, the power fed into the grid can suffer huge losses on the way to the consumers. In conventional electrical distribution systems centralised generating stations supply power to distributed consumers. Therefore, where the voltage varies, this can lead to a reduced electrical output that is much lower than theoretically possible. Frequent blackouts and an unstable electrical supply are the consequences.
In a recent project in Tanzania, ABO Wind demonstrated that extremely large distribution networks, operating at the limit of voltage stability and experiencing substantial distribution constraints, can be stabilised using renewables such as photovoltaic plants, and energy storage systems. Using optimally distributed perimeter stations incorporating renewable resources and energy storage, the network can be supported and network efficiency can be improved significantly.
With the help of renewables, it is possible to minimise cable-losses and to stabilise large networks. This is an eco-friendly and cost-effective option, which helps to prevent critical supply situations due to electrical fluctuation. Not only can this stabilise the existing network, but the combination of renewables and storage units can help enlarge it too.
An interconnected photovoltaic plant combined with a battery functions as a buffer for fluctuating electricity demand and production, thus reducing losses.
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Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase (pdf): Sustainable Growth with Renewables