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HOMER helps bring electricity to remote areas of Afghanistan

by Marilyn Walker, Ph.D. on July 18, 2012

Phys.org reported today that Mahdi, Sadiqi, a recent graduate of Kansas State University and native of Afghanistan, used the HOMER software to model robust, reliable energy systems for remote areas of Afghanistan.

Although HOMER is increasingly used for state of the art microgrid design, this example goes back to HOMER’s roots as a tool for village power. The benefits of electricity to rural areas can literally mean the difference between living standards of the “dark ages” compared to being part of the modern world. “By having electricity, a student can use more light to study until midnight. I remember I often studied under the moonlight if I had to,” he said. “With more electricity, students could access technology using a computer and the Internet, while community members could access news to stay informed,” the article quoted Sadiqi as having said.

Sadiqi used HOMER to create model power systems in the province of Bamiyan in the northern part of Afghanistan. He found the most ideal solution for his site was a hybrid system powered by renewable resources, including micro-hydro and solar, with a battery backup.

 

The problems that Sadiqi encountered in rural Afghanistan are found throughout much of the world. If there is a central power system, it is available sporadically and is notoriously unreliable. Bringing power from the central grid to many rural areas is not economically feasible in any case. But hybrid systems designed with HOMER can be both cost effective and robust, solving both these issues simultaneously. As the Phys.org article points out, this is an untapped opportunity.

 

Again, quoting Sadiqi: “I want to show private investors, the government, community members and nonprofits that Afghanistan has enough renewable energy sources that can be integrated affordably in our communities,” he said. “I could even see community people creating cooperatives to get involved and create projects in their own villages.”

 

The key to this happening, however, is HOMER. If you do not already have HOMER installed on your computer, give it a try today and learn HOMER can bring affordable, reliable, hybrid power to your corner of the world.
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