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Journal of Renewable Energy
Volume 2014, Article ID 379729, 8 pages
Research Article

Feasibility and Optimal Design of a Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Energy System for the Orphanage

Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka 410001, Nigeria

Received 10 February 2014; Revised 2 April 2014; Accepted 10 April 2014; Published 30 April 2014

Academic Editor: Nuri Azbar

Copyright © 2014 Vincent Anayochukwu Ani. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Access to electricity can have a positive psychological impact through a lessening of the sense of exclusion, and vulnerability often felt by the orphanages. This paper presented the simulation and optimization study of a stand-alone photovoltaic power system that produced the desired power needs of an orphanage. Solar resources for the design of the system were obtained from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Surface Meteorology and Solar Energy website at a location of 6°51′N latitude and 7°35′E longitude, with annual average solar radiation of 4.92 kWh/m2/d. This study is based on modeling, simulation, and optimization of energy system in the orphanage. The patterns of load consumption within the orphanage were studied and suitably modeled for optimization. Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) software was used to analyze and design the proposed stand-alone photovoltaic power system model. The model was designed to provide an optimal system configuration based on an hour-by-hour data for energy availability and demands. A detailed design, description, and expected performance of the system were presented in this paper.