Sizing an Off-Grid Photovoltaic System and Economic Comparison with Petrol Generator Using Life Cycle Cost (LCC) Approach for a Typical Rural Primary Healthcare Center in Nigeria
Keywords:inverter, Off-grid, photovoltaic system, primary health care center, solar radiation
It is needless to re-emphasize that modern day healthcare systems require uninterruptible power supply, relying on the national grid for power supply most especially in remote areas in Nigeria is a deliberate attempt to paralysis and underutilize both the human and non-human resources. This paper presents the sizing of a stand-alone photovoltaic system and economic comparison with petrol generator in powering a rural Primary Health Care Center (PHC) in Agbado, Ado-Odo, Ota Local Government, Ogun State, Nigeria. Load survey of the PHC was done in order to know the daily energy demand. The average annual solar radiation and the estimated load for the PHC used as case study are 4.89kWh/m2/day and 14.40kWh/day respectively. The result obtained from sizing the photovoltaic system reveals that the estimated load will require 5.25kW photovoltaic array capacity, 21 modules (24V, 250W each), 10 batteries (12V, 200Ah each), 3 solar charge controllers (24V, 80A each), 1 unit of 4kW inverter (24Vdc/220Vac, 50Hz), 3x70mm2 insulated flexible copper cable and 3x2.5mm2 insulated flexible copper cable. Life Cycle Cost (LCC) technique was used to assess the most economically viable option in powering the PHC. The study also reveals a savings of 64.4% in LCC using PV system as against petrol generators in powering the PHC. The replacement cost constitutes the higher factor affecting the LCC of the PV system constituting about 47.7%, while the operation and maintenance cost forms the least factor with about 28.9%. Also, for that of petrol generator, the fuel cost constitutes the highest factor affecting the LCC, constituting about 87.6%, while the initial capital cost forms the least factor which is about 0.24%. The insights from this study can be reciprocated to other rural PHCs in Nigeria.
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