Design of a Low Voltage DC Mini-grid for Isolated Healthcare Centres

  • Vishnu Dhinakaran National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
  • K Akash National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Rakshaa Viswanathan National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
  • S. Arul Daniel National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
  • A. Rakesh Kumar National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords: LVDC, Solar PV Systems, islanded pico-grid, single point of failure, rural electrification, healthcare

Abstract

Primary healthcare centres are essential to any inhabited place in the world. A lack of electrical power from the grid should not be a reason for people in remote rural areas to miss out on basic healthcare. In developing countries like India, rural healthcare centres usually have intermittent or no grid supply and run on diesel generator-based electricity or other conventional sources, if at all there are such centres established. This, however, contributes to environmental degradation and is also expensive to maintain, considering fluctuating fuel prices. To turn the dependence on renewable energy sources like photovoltaics would pave the way to sustainable energy production and utilization, which costs less in the long run. This research work aims at designing an islanded low voltage DC solar mini-grid that will provide enough power to sustain a primary healthcare centre that has less to no access to the national grid. Previous works in this context tend to rely on varying extents of intermittent supply from the national grid, which may not be the reality in most Indian rural areas. Additionally, an unreliable source of power from the grid which is also difficult to predict would make sensitive and important loads less accessible.

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Author Biographies

Vishnu Dhinakaran, National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India

Vishnu Dhinakaran is an undergraduate student pursuing his bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT-T). He is currently interested in topics related to power electronics, energy storage systems, control, optimisation and energy economics. He is also a writer and editor of the media house and magazine of NIT-T, and a writer for Tronicals, the biannual technical magazine of the annual national level symposium at NIT-T, where he was also the Joint Secretary for a year.

K Akash, National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India

K. Akash is currently pursuing pre-final year in the bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (NIT-T). His areas of interest include power electronics and renewable energy systems.

Rakshaa Viswanathan, National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India

Rakshaa Viswanathan is currently pursuing Bachelor of Technology in electrical and electronics engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (Batch of 2018–2022). Her research interests include power electronics, deep learning, internet of things, and sensors.

S. Arul Daniel, National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India

S. Arul Daniel completed his B.E. degree programme from the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, in 1988 and M.E. degree in Power Systems from the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli in 1991. He pursued his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering at the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli between 1999 and 2003 & obtained the degree in 2003 from the Bharathidasan University. He is currently a Professor (Higher Administrative Grade) in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at NIT Tiruchirappalli. He has also served as the Head of the Department and Dean (Academic). His research interests include distributed generators, microgrids, and power electronic interfaces for renewable energy systems.

A. Rakesh Kumar, National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India

A. Rakesh Kumar completed his Bachelors in Engineering with a honors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Anna University, Chennai, India in 2011 and Masters in Engineering in Power Electronics and Drives from Anna University, Chennai, India in 2013. He worked as Assistant Professor with the Department of EEE, Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai, India from 2013 to 2015. He then went on to join for a full time PhD with the School of Electrical Engineering (SELECT), Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) from 2015 to 2019. He was also serving as Teaching cum Research Assistant from 2015 to 2019 with the same. Currently, he is a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Nano and Micro grid lab, Department of EEE, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India.

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Published
2021-10-21
Section
SPECIAL ISSUE: Energy Access & Off-Grid Systems for Residential Microgrids/Nanog