Kanagaratnam Ratneswaran

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Name with Initials:
K. Ratneswaran
Year of Admission to the Program:
2008
Topic of the Dissertation:

Hybrid Power System for Eluvaithivu Island Sri Lanka

Abstract of the Dissertation:

Government of Sri Lanka has policy target to achieve 100% electrification by end of year 2012. Grid-based electrification is possible up to maximum 95% of the population in Sri Lanka. Balance 5% of the electrification has to be mainly depending on off-grid technologies such as solar PV, wind, biomass and micro hydro.

Use of renewable based off-grid technologies is limited by the seasonal variation of the resource. This barrier could be overcome by coupling renewable based power generation technologies with a diesel generation thereby forming a hybrid power system. Given the comparatively higher investment cost, a hybrid power plant needs to be carefully designed and optimized to generate electricity at competitive prices.

There are some Isolated Islands located in the Jaffna Peninsula (Northern part of Sri Lanka) called Eluvaithivu, Analaithivu, Nainathivu and Delft Islands. These islands are far away from mainland. At present diesel generators are supplying electricity to these islands for limited hours. Electrification rate of these islands are very low due to the Grid limitations. Also cost of electricity generation is very high due to the high diesel price.

The main objective of the present study is “Selection of optimized mix of renewable based power generation technologies to form a mini-grid and to supply reliable, cost effective electricity supply to the people living in Eluvaithivu Island’ and thereby support the 100% electrification target by Govt. of Sri Lanka in 2012.

Data collection, survey has been conducted in the Eluvaithivu Island to find out the status of present system, priority needs, resource data and load data to propose suitable power system for this Island. An extensive analyse was conducted using HOMER software model and the result is presented in the report. Optimum design emerges as a wind-diesel hybrid power system having wind turbines generator, diesel generators, battery bank, converter and a hybrid controller.

The result revealed that the economic viability of the project, in the form of a community owned wind-diesel hybrid power system operated on cost-recovery basis is not feasible. But it is an attractive option for CEB to reduce its long term losses on diesel fuel. In other words, if CEB implement this project, it would be an ideal win-win situation where both the CEB and the island community are benefited.