Smart Grids for Small Grids - Progress So Far

You may remember from our last Newsletter that WISIONS is currently supporting the Smart Grids for Small Grids project. Co-ordinated by Green Empowerment, it aims to develop open source technologies for rural communities to improve the reliability of mini-grids.

Significant progress has been made since the summer and the Smart Grids for Small Grids project has announced that it has reached Phase 2. This means it is moving from planning the load-management technology to actually building and lab testing it with real-world appliances. To test the hardware, simulated consumption profiles were used to mimic peak and off-peak hours in energy demand. By developing and applying the hardware, the project was also able to evaluate the manufacturing costs more accurately. With that in mind, the main focus of the technology is shifting towards shared communal services, such as shared power tool workshops, shared refrigeration, ice-making facilities and self-service laundry facilities. Despite this focus, domestic appliances are still a major objective and the project will move to evaluate solutions to reduce the production and implementation costs of domestic appliances.

The next steps will be to test the technology in the field, meaning in and by the target communities. The advantages of working closely with partner organisations on-site (SIBAT and  TONIBUNG) and facilitating mutual knowledge exchanges will come into play here, as the experiences and feedback from intended users will be included in the systems’ development process.

If you want to delve deeper into the topic, take a look at the project website. Stay tuned for more updates about this exciting project!

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