Centralised Solar Hybrid System best option for Cambodian villages
- Published on Monday, 28 May 2012
On April 24 and 25, Sunlabob, on behalf of Investing in Children and their Societies (ICS), formerly known as International Child Support, conducted a pre-feasibility study at Pou Tmey and Prasat Labouk villages in Cambodia to investigate the possibility of installing a centralised solar PV hybrid system to power the electricity needs of the two villages.
Presently the villages have no electrical infrastructure and use batteries to power small appliances like lighting, televisions and DVD players. Rice mills are run by generators and water is obtained from boreholes using hand pumps.
Using calculations of the total daily energy consumption and peak load of the houses in the villages, Sunlabob designed both a centralised solar system and distribution network for the villages. Costing of the proposed system, comparisons to alternatives and recommendations on ways to proceed were also presented to ICS.
An alternative to the centralised systems is individual solar home systems however this solution is not recommended due to technical and cost reasons.
There are many benefits to the centralized system over the individual solar home systems,
One of the greatest benefits of the centralised system is the possibility to run a generator with the system, allowing larger loads (welding, rice mills etc) to be run using power from the system. There is no generator connection at each solar home system.
In conclusion, installing a centralised solar island grid system in the two villages is technically feasible and a cost effective way of delivering electricity.
Sunlabob recommends one centralised system for both villages; however an initial design and costing was undertaken for two separate systems, one for Pou Tmey and the other for Prasat Labouk. This allows the possibility of installing one system first, and the second later, when funding permits.
Community engagement and planning with the two villages is the next step that ICS will be undertaking in order for further design and preparation to take place.