Developing an open access monitoring device for off grid renewables

2016-01-27T14:32:43Z (GMT) by Richard Blanchard Matt Little
Electricity access is a key driver for developing a modern society. The use of locally generated renewable energy can overcome limitations of expensive grid infrastructure. However, there are still barriers to access particularly for the rural poor in the global south. When individuals or communities invest in electricity provision it is important to know how well the system is performing. Commercial monitoring systems have been developed for large scale renewable energy systems. The cost of these can outweigh the cost of a small decentralised renewable energy system. This paper describes the development of a low cost data logger that is going to be used to monitor the system performance of small photovoltaic nano-grids in Kenya and Bangladesh. The device performs within the expected range for the current, voltage, temperature and irradiance sensors. Data from the data logger device is sent via GPRS to a website where it can be accessed as real time graphical displays and data files.