By 2030, 600 million out of the 674 million people in the world still without access to electricity will live in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of them in rural areas.
The International Energy Agency - Poverty to Prosperity (2017)
It is estimated that a minimum of about 1,000 KWh/year of dependable energy per household is required to provide the necessary conditions for economic development for consumers in rural communities.
To achieve this, power facilities will need to include a hybrid of renewables, dispatchable generators and energy storage, and these community energy installations will be monitored and controlled by a smart microgrid controller to maximise the efficiency of the resources.
At Smarter Microgrid we propose a radical solution to this challenge, which is to deploy smart microgrids, and the associated generation and distribution facilities, in such a way that it can be provided significantly by local communities themselves.
This results not only in lowering of costs but also simultaneously in an increase in local jobs and services, creating self sufficiency locally and stimulating economic development wherever possible.
Our system has been carefully developed to run on very low cost computers such as the Raspberry Pi. Built over the open and free Linux OS, the SMC software is portable to even cheaper single board computers as they become available
The SMC is carefully designed to provide maximum compatibility with all types of generators and storage regardless of their type or manufacturer, including existing and refurbished equipment
An intuitive policy-based system provides flexible system behaviour to the administrator, to satisfy local needs as they change from time to time, without requiring any code modifications by the system developer
There is unrestricted potential to incorporate new devices to satisfy existing needs or adapt to future needs, without repeated and expensive intervention from the original equipment suppliers or their agents
Any desired level of redundancy can be implemented in the hardware components to ensure high availability and resilience.
This is one of the benefits of the highly distributed nature of our SMC
For whom the primary goal is to invest in such economic development of rural communities
Who could be commercial enterprises or university departments
Who are interested in helping to enable economic development of rural communities
Who are willing and able to add relevant and appropriate expertise locally
The day must come when electricity will be for everyone, as the waters of the rivers and the wind of heaven. It should not merely be supplied, but lavished, that men may use it at their will, as the air they breathe.