Dar Bouidar Solar – 2 – designing a mini-grid

My background so far has not been in offgrid solar and I did not start 2019 a big expert in this field, to put it mildly. So there was a learning curve. I phoned some of my friends and contacts that have deep first-hand expertise on the subject. And at Intersolar in May I sat down with some of them to discuss my draft designs. I was surprised that even in 2019 most of the advice was to stick with proven lead-acid batteries as lithium-ion batteries might not last so long in sunny Morocco. But I also learned that specifically lithium-iron-phosphate batteries (LFP or LiFePo4) can cope fairly well with a bit of heat. So they appear to be suitable and some products on the market are fully supported for this kind of application. LFP is what we’ll use.

The design is now practically final with a little bit of give and take regarding the size of the PV arrays. Simulations look pretty good with a good 50 kWp of solar and around 25 kWh of batteries.

Overview of energy and water facilities already available and what is to be added

Besides the engineering part, also working on various funding options. The project pays back within less than 3 years, so it should not be too difficult to figure out financing. We will see…

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