Tool development for Off-Grid Systems

In order to design, plan and optimize off-grid energy systems for the Nigerian context, we develop customized and open planning tools for local communities and mini-grid developers. These tools will be based on open-source energy modeling software, such as the open energy modeling framework “oemof”.

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The Open Energy Modelling Framework (oemof) is a tool for modelling and analyzing energy systems. It is an open-source software which is composed of flexible modules and can thus be compiled according to different specific needs. This makes it very useful for inter-sector studies. The modelling framework was created by RLI in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems and Magdeburg University.

As a first step of the open-source tool development, the stakeholder needs and available technologies are analyzed and the tool requirements are derived. In a second step the structure of the supply systems and respective power flows are defined. The data input processing is designed to consider specific demand data, climate, resource and infrastructure data, as well as socio-economic factors.

Next, the specific components of the off-grid solution like Solar-Home-Systems (SHS) and mini-grids are modeled considering techno-economic parameters.

These energy system models are combined with geospatial features to eventually create a hybrid optimization tool for off-grid communities. Outputs providing tangible information for the identification of potentially feasible technologies and the sizing of optimal systems are generated, which can be used for system evaluation and comparison. On this basis, representative results for off-grid power systems in Nigeria will be developed, and finally, the possible transferability to other countries and regions will be investigated.