study alternative method of providing renewable energy power

study alternative method of providing renewable energy power

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1.1              BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Photovoltaic is a phenomenon whereby light is converted directly into electricity. In the 1860s, an electrician called Bolylestad R.G was testing under water telegraph line for faults using a material called selenium. By chance he discovered that electricity travelled through selenium vary when it is in light, but it did not if the selenium is in darkness. Then in the early 1880s, Floyd invented the first PV cell by putting selenium on a metal plate and coating it with a gold leaf. In 1954 voltaic technology was born in the United States when Jacob Wand Chorister .C. developed the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell at Bell laboratory. It was the first solar cell capable of converting enough of the sun’s energy into electrical power to run everyday equipment. Photovoltaic (PV) offers consumers the ability to generate electricity in a clean quiet and reliable way, photovoltaic system comprises of photovoltaic cells. Photo device that converts light energy directly into electricity are called solar cells, since the source of light is usually the sun. The word photovoltaic comes from photo meaning light and “voltaic” which refers to producing electricity directly from sunlight. When application require larger amount of electricity and are located away from existing power line or there is instability of the power supply from national grid, photovoltaic system in many cases offer the least expensive most visible option. It is used today on street lights, gate openers and other low power tasks. Solar cells are gaining popularity globally as their prices decline and efficiency increases. Photovoltaic (solar) cells convert sunlight directly into electricity without creating any kind of pollution. They are made of at least two semi conductor materials. One layer has a positive charge, the other has negative. When light enters the cells, some of the photons from the light are absorbed by the semi conductor atoms, freeing electrons from the cell negative layer to flow through an external circuit and back in to the positive layer. This flow of electrons produces electric current. To increase their power capacity dozens of individual photovoltaic (PV) cells are interconnected together in a sealed weather proof package called a module. When two modules are wired together in series, their voltage is doubled while the current stays constant, when two modules are wired together in parallel, their current is doubled while the voltage stays constant. To achieve the desired voltage and current, modules are wired in series and parallel into what is called a photovoltaic (PV) array. The flexibility of the modules in the photovoltaic (PV) system allow a designer to create solar power system that can meet a wide variety of electrical need no matter how large or small . A grid connected PV system will require a utility interactive DC to Ac inverter. This device will convert the DC electricity produced by the PV array into AC typically required for domestic loads such as electronic devices, television, lighting, refrigerators, fans etc. A storage facility i.e. battery is used to store electricity from the PV’s for use when there is no sun


As a result of continuous power failure and fluctuation in power supply by Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), sensitive appliances and system are affected by interruption power supply. The epileptic power supply is crippling Nigeria industries both great and small, raising the cost of production and the inflation rate of the country is on the move because of the power supply failure. The impact of power failure can be measured on the household, various intuitions, firms and the economy in general. With a case study on tertiary institution, Power failure impacts on the schools are in various ways. Its impact varies from the experience of low productivity. Many institutions have their appliances and equipment’s damaged due to frequent power failures. Also, what the institution are faced with delay in executing task at the right time as a result due to power outage.

As the power demand is increasing day by day, it is becoming impossible for PHCN to make electric power available as per the demand. Many of the power generating plant are using nonrenewable sources as their primary source. But these may become extinct at any time and before facing the situation we have to choose an alternative to avoid the power crisis. One of the best alternatives are choosing non-conventional sources like Solar energy, Wind Energy, Tidal energy, Bio-mass energy etcetera as the primary sources for power generation in power stations. The power from these sources is several times greater than the one, which we are using at the present. Out of these energy sources, the best one which suits for our country is the solar energy.


The main aim of this report is to understand and study alternative method of providing renewable energy power and also carry out a project on the decentralization of the solar based power supply, redesign and install a 5KVA, 48V microcontroller based inverter with embedded charge controller to the Head of Department (HOD) of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department office and some staff offices that will serves as an alternative supply of electrical power.

Other objectives of this project include: -

                 i.         To upgrade the pre existing installation

               ii.         To implement 5KVA, 48V, charge controller (PWM) based inverter to the HOD and some staff offices in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

             iii.         To provide a source of electricity power with low maintenance cost and zero fuel cost with high reliability.

             iv.         To provide a renewable source of energy that will serve as an alternative to epileptic power supply and failure from the on-grid power provider which will further improve the productivity of office work.

               v.         To decentralize and Re-design an appropriate PV system


The methodology deployed for this project is listed in the following order in order to achieve a high effective and efficient renewable alternative power system.

        i.            Study the previous work on the project so as to improve it efficiency.

      ii.            Analyze the present load demand and consumption for proposed offices and load extensions.

    iii.            Carry out due calculation on required solar panels.

    iv.            Design a block diagram.

      v.            Design and calculation for charge controller and inverter.

    vi.            Select and install the required inverter system and charge controller.           

  vii.             Decentralize power supply to proposed offices

Sunlight ray


1.4.1    Methodology Block Diagram

The methodology used in this project is shown in figure 1.1.

Series of Solar Array


Solar Charge Controller

Change Over Switch

On-Grid Power System

DC to AC Inverter


Distribution Boards

Battery Bank


Figure. 1.1: Block Diagram of a Solar Power System

1. 4.2   Break-Down of Methodology in Block Diagram

            The methodology is explained as follows: -

                    i.            PV array: A photovoltaic array is a linked collection of photovoltaic modules which is made of multiple interconnected PV cells. The cells convert solar energy into direct- current electricity

                  ii.            Charge Controller: This system is primarily designed to convert DC to AC power supply; it takes the DC stored current from the battery and converts it to AC for compatibility with other appliances. And the embedded charge controller is to prevent overcharging of the batteries. Proper charging will avoid damage and increase the life and performance of the batteries.

                iii.            Batteries: This store the electrical power in the form of a chemical reaction. Without storage, you would only have power when the sun is shining or when the generator is running.

                iv.            Utility Grid: Supply from PHCN to the inverter which can also be used to charge batteries during cloudy days.

                  v.            AC Loads: These are the various loads in all concern offices to be powered by supply from solar.


Inverters are the best when it comes to back-up since they can come up very fast and they generate little or no noise unlike generator. Even in an area with constant power supply, power outage due to natural cause and faults are usually unannounced. It is therefore very important to prevent casualties and loss of goodwill by having a reliable backup power installed.

1.6              REPORT OUTLINE

Chapter one present the background of the report, statement of the problem, purpose of the study methodology, scope of the study, report outline. Chapter two present introduction to literature review, review of related work, present research work, comparative analysis, advantages, area of application, conclusion. Chapter three presents, design specifications, design assumptions, design analysis and conclusion. Chapter four presents, the introduction to construction and packaging, packaging, pictorial view and conclusion. Chapter five presents, introduction to testing and result, table of data, result discussion and conclusion. Chapter six presents conclusion and recommendation.

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