Techno-Economic analysis of stand alone solar pv systems for remote base stations in Ghana. (A case study at Abofrem vodafone cell site)

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Techno-Economic analysis of stand alone solar pv systems for remote base stations in Ghana. (A case study at Abofrem vodafone cell site)

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Title: Techno-Economic analysis of stand alone solar pv systems for remote base stations in Ghana. (A case study at Abofrem vodafone cell site)
Author: Denkyira, Samuel
Abstract: nformation and Communications Technologies (ICT) have become an important part of today’s global economy. ICT infrastructural development is developing at a very fast pace in Ghana. Growth is above the 1.1% average for Sub-Saharan Africa. The growth in the sector has meant a massive investment in telecommunication infrastructure such as base stations from telecom companies such as Vodafone, Millicom, Glo, Espresso, MTN etc. Hundreds of base stations have been installed all over the country. Currently base stations depend mainly on the national grid, with diesel generators as backups, for its power requirement. In some remote or hilly areas where there are no grid supplied electricity, base stations are usually powered with diesel fuelled generators since lengthy grid extensions may not be cost effective. In addition to high fuel delivery and consumption costs, maintenance of the generators can also be expensive in terms of parts and labour time working on the unit. There are also concerns about environmental pollution using diesel generators. Photovoltaic technology has the ability to convert solar energy into electricity consuming no fossil fuels, using no moving parts, creating no pollution and noise, and lasting for years with little maintenance. The environmental, noise, reliability and power availability benefits of the PV system make it an attractive option. Ghana, being a few degrees north of the equator, is endowed with enormous solar energy resource spread across the entire country. Daily solar radiation level ranges from 4 kWh/m2 to 6 kWh/m2. The annual sunshine duration ranges between 1800 to 3000 hours offering very high potential for grid connected and off grid applications. In this thesis work, the use of solar PV technology as a cost effective source of power for cellular base stations in remote or hilly areas, far off the national grid, is reviewed. RETScreen software is used to determine the technical and financial viability of the PV system. iv The study shows that even though the initial investment in solar PV is higher than conventional diesel engines, overtime it becomes more cost efficient. The NPV is positive which indicates a potentially feasible project. The Benefit-Cost (B-C) ratio is greater than 1 indicating a profitable project and an equity payback of 4.9 years.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE. 2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/7524
Date: 2015-07-12

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