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Optimizing off-grid generation in large-scale electrification-planning problems: a direct-search approach

P. Ciller, F. de Cuadra, S. Lumbreras

Off-grid systems play a prominent role in rural electrification planning. The problem of optimizing the generation design of a single off-grid system has received a significant amount of attention in the literature, and several software tools and algorithms have addressed it. However, methods and tools designed for individual mini-grids are not directly applicable to regional planning, where it is necessary to estimate the generation cost of potentially thousands of mini-grids. Conversely, most regional planning tools estimate the generation cost of mini-grids with rules of thumb or analytical expressions. These estimations are useful, but they lack the accuracy necessary to develop a rural electrification plan. This paper presents a method to estimate the generation cost of any potential off-grid system in a large-scale rural electrification planning problem, which is currently implemented in the Reference Electrification Model (REM). The method uses a master-slave decomposition that exploits the structure of the problem and combines continuous and discrete variables. The algorithm is illustrated with a case study that shows that a direct application of a discrete model may lead to suboptimal results in large-scale planning.

Palabras clave: energy access; rural electrification planning; geospatial planning; off-grid electrification; mini-grid generation; generation sizing; computer model; planning software; heuristic optimization

Energies. Volumen: 12 Numero: 24 Páginas: 4634-1-4634-22

Índice de impacto JCR y cuartil Scopus: 2.707 - Q3 (2018)

Referencia DOI: DOI icon 10.3390/en12244634    

Publicado en papel: Diciembre 2019. Publicado on-line: Diciembre 2019.

P. Ciller, F. de Cuadra, S. Lumbreras. Optimizing off-grid generation in large-scale electrification-planning problems: a direct-search approach. Energies. vol. 12, no. 24, pp. 4634-1-4634-22, Diciembre 2019. [Online: Diciembre 2019]

    Líneas de investigación:
  • Sistemas aislados: islas, microrredes, off-grid
  • Acceso universal a la energía y electrificación rural

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