The Georgia Institute of Technology IEEE PES chapter established a project to design and implement a solar microgrid, to supply power to a recently established health center in the mountains of Thoman, Haiti. Several combinations of power generating units were evaluated on an economic basis, including: a standalone diesel generator (DG), photovoltaic (PV) panels with batteries, and PV panels with batteries and a DG. Key parameters including power rating, loss of load probability, level of autonomy, etc., were also incorporated into the evaluation.
To verify the preliminary design, a site visit was conducted in February 2015. Installation occurred during May 8th through May 14th 2016. 23 students traveled to Thoman, Haiti and installed the 7.2 kW microgrid. The total project cost was around $50,000. It was a life changing experience for all the groups involved. Now the clinic has constant, free power.
This opportunity provided a platform to not just learn about microgrid design, but also fundraising, installation, maintenance procedures and most important of all, teamwork!