Demand side management strategies for solar-PV penetration in powering rural healthcare centre in Africa

This paper explored the possibility of applying Demand Side Management (DSM) strategies in meeting the energy demands of rural healthcare centres in Africa. Using an energy management system, it is possible to increase renewable energy penetration, optimize energy costs and reduces carbon emissions. DSM is a process of managing energy consumption to optimize available and planned resources for power generation. The DSM strategies employed in this study incorporates all activities that influence the rural healthcare facilities use of electricity, hence leading to manageable demand. The main focus of this study is on feasibility of increasing penetration of off-grid hybrid renewable energy in delivering basic healthcare services in rural areas with limited or no electricity access. Renewable energy resources (RES) such as solar is considered abundant in many rural places, it is also environmental friendly, hence suitable for providing electricity in rural healthcare facilities where there is no electricity access or limited supply. To meet the facility’s energy need, an optimum PV-Gen-battery hybrid system was designed using HOMER (Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Electric Renewables), with COE of $0.224/kWh, Net Present Cost (NPC) of $61,917.6 and initial capital cost of $16,046.5. DSM measures were applied to reduce the peak and average demand. With this new load profile, an optimum hybrid system was obtained, producing a COE of $0.166/kWh, NPC of $18,614.7 and initial capital cost of $10,070.8 after the DSM. The cost saving realized for the considered rural healthcare center is $0.057/kWh, representing 25.8% reduction from the current COE and 70% reduction in Total NPC. The research provides novel insights which may be applicable worldwide. It has the potential to significantly advance the development of high-quality and timely evidence to underpin current and future developments in the rural energy sector and contribute to the implementation of SDG7..