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“Smart” Micro-Grids for Developing Regions. Achintya Madduri, Javier Rosa, Matt Podolsky , Daniel Soto*, Eric Brewer, Seth Sanders. (*) In Collaboration with: Matt Bassinger , John Sarik , and Vijay Modi of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Outline. How we fit into LoCal .

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achintya madduri javier rosa matt podolsky daniel soto eric brewer seth sanders

“Smart” Micro-Grids for Developing Regions

Achintya Madduri, Javier Rosa, Matt Podolsky, Daniel Soto*, Eric Brewer, Seth Sanders

(*) In Collaboration with: Matt Bassinger, John Sarik, and Vijay Modi of the Earth Institute, Columbia University

outline
Outline
  • How we fit into LoCal.
  • Need for electrifying rural developing regions.
  • Work done so far by Columbia University in Africa: usage statistics, methodology, etc.
  • DC microgriddescription and features.
  • Future plans.
how does this fit into local
How Does this fit into LoCal?
  • Do more with less.
  • Build a grid from ground up to achieve maximal energy efficiency.
  • Test-bed for LoCal grid-tied ideas: IPS, thermal slack, demand-response, etc.
need for rural electrification
Need for Rural Electrification
  • Displace fossil fuels for night-time lighting.
  • Low power required per household, but individual generation or fixed monthly cost not practical.
millennium village project
Millennium Village Project
  • The Modi Group at Columbia University has implemented a community generation project: Shared Solar in 20 sites in Africa.
  • Goal: Was to build a framework to effectively collect tariff.
    • Existing overhead (administrative) costs are high
    • Non-payment rates for post-paid plans at 40%
  • Collected fine-grain data on usage and losses.
shared solar overview
Shared Solar Overview
  • Central generation station using a single large source (ex. 2.5 kW Solar Panel)
  • 220 V-AC transmission & distribution
  • Centralized metering, switching, and SMS communications.
  • 100 m radius for transmission.
  • 20 households with usage of ~200 W-hrs/day
problems encountered
Problems Encountered
  • Off the shelf metering hardware inefficient, expensive, prone-to-failure, and no longer available.
    • Solution: Custom Hardware that we have developed and tested.
  • Bigger problem: System losses due to invertersand multiple AC-DC/DC-AC conversions while using mostly DC appliances.
dc micro grid
DC Micro-Grid
  • DC generation, distribution, and appliances.
  • Soft-transmission-voltage control scheme to ensure effective power sharing (ex. 280-320 VDC).
  • Real-time switching and metering for each household in a tree architecture.
  • Grid-controlled distributed storage.
  • Communications over power lines.
distributed storage
Distributed Storage
  • Storage should be sufficient for night-time usage.
  • Distributed storage minimizes losses of stored electricity.
  • Allows for incremental growth of high-cost components.
communications over power lines
Communications Over Power Lines
  • Low cost communications using a TDMA scheme over power lines.
  • Allows to close loop for power sharing.
  • Low bitrate communications:
    • Charge state of household
    • Credits
    • Usage
future plans
Future Plans
  • Deploy AC-grid custom metering hardware in Haiti with Columbia University.
  • Finish framework for DC grid for both power and communications.
  • Simulate with sample DC-DC convertors and loads with usage patterns obtained from AC grid deployments.
thank you
Thank You
  • Acknowledgements:
    • Modi Group, Columbia University
    • Alex McEachern, Power Standards Lab
    • Paul G. Allen Foundation
  • Questions?
summary
Summary
  • Target a market that is high need but has low usage.
  • Efficiency is essential to making a solution sustainable.
  • Re-make the grid to provide the desired utility without the existing constraints.