Unreliable power grids in sub-Saharan countries have forced households to seek on-site power generation (self-generation) options. Although diesel generators have the largest share of backup systems, the use of solar systems has been growing over the years. This paper presents a solar backup system including PV panels, a battery and a solar hot water (SHW) to provide both reliable energy and hot water to households. Moreover, two different configurations have been studied to improve the hot water system's performance. Whilst the SHW is limited to preheating the electric hot water in the first configuration, in the second it can individually provide the hot water for short-term uses in cases of lack of energy. The solar backup system is equipped with an intelligent prediction-based controller that can control the power flow and the hot water temperature in the presence of power limitations and unplanned power outages. Evaluation of the proposed system using real datasets shows that in addition to delivering reliable energy and hot water, the total cost of the solar solution over the project life is about 25% lower than the diesel generator's, making it a more viable investment.
- Diesel Generators
- Optimal sizing
- Power Management Strategy
- Prioritised Energy Resource Allocation
- Solar Hot Water