Electrifiying Off-grid area in Bangladesh with green energy

‘Energy for all’! With this vision in mind the government of Bangladesh has taken many initiatives to ensure electricity for all the people of Bangladesh by 2021 – in its Golden Jubilee of Independence. Electrifying every individual household in this country is nearly impossible by extending the national grid. Therefore the government has implemented the most successful solar home system program in the world.

But with the increasing economy people of rural real area demand more for electricity. They often say, that they are unable to meet their energy demands according to their need with the solar home system. As a result rural area Solar-Diesel Hybrid Mini-Grids are becoming popular in Bangladesh to provide grid quality electricity to those who need it.

In 2010 a 100kWp Solar Mini-grid was installed in Sandwip Island as pilot basis. With the positive experience of the pilot project, now over 10 mini-grid projects are in the pipeline to be installed in different off-grid location in Bangladesh.

lean energy for over 1000 households

Out of these 10 mini-grid projects Centre for Energy Research (CER) of United International University (UIU) is working on 8 projects as a technical consultant. Recently two of the projects have finished their installation and commissioning of all the components of the Solar Power Plants having 141kWp Solar PV capacity each and they are waiting for the commissioning of distribution line to supply electricity to household.

Each of these plants is expected to supply green energy to a minimum of 1000 rural households, 100 shops, some irrigation pumps, a couple of schools and the rural community clinic with energy efficient appliances.

Integration of Smart Technology by SMA

Because of the robustness and reliability of SMAs products, almost all mini-grids are planned to use the smart electronics of this company. Above commissioned projects are designed and developed with 6 Sunny Tripower 17000TL Grid Tie Inverters, 4 sets of Sunny Island 8.0 along with 16 Sunny Island Chargers. Considering the future extension provision in mind, MC box 36 has been used to keep the flexibility to extend the project size up to 300kWp.

As the projects are installed in completely off-grid and remote places of Bangladesh, a battery bank with a capacity of 18480AH @ 48V and a backup 80kVA backup generator have been integrated with the system to meet the demands when the sun is absent visually. Produced energy from the plant will be distributed through a 3-phase 4-wire distribution system having 4 feeders with lengths from 0.5 to 2 km each.

All in all these projects are just a few first babysteps – but let’s hope this is the beginning of a much bigger story. One about a bangladesh that’s powered green and clean.