iDE Bangladesh's Riasat Alam is co-author of a paper outlining the systematic procedure for designing an optimal solar microgrid system that will power an off-grid fish hatchery and nearby households.
The abstract is below. If you would like to read the entire paper, a copy can be downloaded at AIP Publishing.
In Bangladesh, fish hatcheries, who sell fish to households, nurseries, and other businesses, require constant running water. Nearly all households around the hatchery have small fish ponds and rear fish using fingerlings from the hatchery for some time of the year. They cannot, but would like to, increase their productivity if they could cost-effectively mobilize water during the dry season. At present, off-grid hatcheries and nearby communities rely upon expensive, polluting diesel and kerosene consumption that threatens the food chain, the environment and human health. Diesel-run pumps used by hatcheries are around 35 percent efficient, whereas renewable energy technologies are as high as 90 percent efficient. It is a huge loss for the hatcheries and comes with an environmental cost. On the other hand, adjacent households have to rely on expensive kerosene as they don’t have access to clean energy solutions. A cost-effective, clean energy solution (CES) has been designed and installed to reduce energy costs and increase productivity for off-grid hatcheries and household fish-raisers while also providing domestic electricity access. This CES installation is facilitated by the Powering Aquaculture project under Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development support which aims to improve the nexus between access to renewable energy technologies and improved agricultural productivity for low-income households. The project has designed and installed an optimal solar micro-grid system which has the potential to replace diesel and kerosene consumed by the off-grid fish hatcheries and surrounding community households. This solar micro-grid system was designed considering the hatchery demand, community demand, private firms’ willingness to invest, hatcheries’ willingness to invest, CES equipment cost, Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Return on Investment (ROI) for different partners, user desirability, and user affordability. The generated electricity produced by the solar micro-grid system will simultaneously serve the needs of hatcheries for water mobilization, households for lighting and using other appliances, and surrounding small farmers for water pumping throughout the year. All the demand side loads of the customers were calculated for a year and an optimal solution was designed which will be provide electricity at least 95% time of a year. This system has the ability to increase demand for fish fingerlings, increase profits and strengthen local economic prospects for all parties. This paper will elaborate a systematic procedure for designing an optimal solar microgrid system for powering an off-grid fish hatchery and nearby households considering all the related variables and factors.