What is it about?

The paper focuses on a system comprising a solar photovoltaic (PV)/micro-hydro power/battery bank/converter that has been designed, modeled, simulated, and optimized for the rural area of Wimana village, Rwanda. The application of a hybrid renewable energy system has become an important alternative solution for the rural electrification program. To satisfy the load demand, solar photovoltaic (4kW) and micro-hydro (15kW) energy were considered the main source of energy to supply electricity to the load and to charge the battery bank when there was excess energy generation.

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Why is it important?

The combination of the two renewable sources photovoltaic and hydropower has the advantage that they are complementary to each other because the peak power generation hours of the two systems occur at different periods of the day and year. The power generation of such kind of hybrid plants is more constant and experience less fluctuation than each of the two components subsystem and it also increases the reliability and feasibility of the power generation. The system provides a high level of energy security through the combination of generation methods and often integrates a storage system (battery bank) to ensure maximum supply, reliability, and security. The benefit of hybrid power generation from the renewable energy source to the rural community is to supply reliable, sustainable, and low-cost electricity and to start modern life i.e. creating job opportunities and extending average working hours in the community. In addition to this, the wide use of renewable energy sources decreases the possibility of pollution of the environment from pollutant gases that are released from thermal power generations.


The design and optimization of hybrid systems of PV and Micro-hydro would enable electrification of remotely located areas that are detached from the main grid and costly to stretch a transmission line from the substations. The expected outcome of this paper is to ensure a feasible off-grid hybrid renewable energy source plant combined with a battery storage system to fulfill the energy demand of a rural community in Rwanda. This would be realized by considering the nature of the load at the consumers’ side, the efficiency of power generation, cost, and reliability of the plant.

Mr. Lidetu Abu Bedadi
Haramaya University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Design and optimization of off‐grid hybrid renewable power plant with storage system for rural area in Rwanda, IET Renewable Power Generation, August 2021, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (the IET),
DOI: 10.1049/rpg2.12267.
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