Modelling and navigation of solar electric power potential and generation in the four regions of Uganda

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Kampala International University, College of Environmental Science and management
The modelling and navigation of solar electric power potential and generation in the four regions of Uganda was aimed at enhancing the potential use of Ugandaโ€™s colossal renewable solar energy resources by integrating the power generated from it to the already existing renewable hydropower and conventional power generation to boost the national grid supply to rapidly realize sustainable development goals. Thus, a holistic study was carried out on climatological and meteorological distribution within the four regions of Uganda to fish out the hot spot places with high probability of sunshine hours, clearness index and wind speed for solar deployment. This quest was proceeded with the acquisition of quadragenarious baseline satellite data for 122 districts from 1984 โ€“ 2018 from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources and AccuWeather for weather forecasts. Moreover, the on-station (measured) data was acquired from four weather stations (Lira, Tororo, Kampala and Mbarara districts) from Uganda National Meteorological Authority and the department of physics, Makerere University. Subsequently, the data acquisition was followed by data filtration, organization and development of models. The Haversine algorithms and Biharmonic equations were used to develop models which are functions of terrestrial coordinates on the Earthโ€™s surface. The analysis was supported by Microsoft Excel, Matlab/Simulink, OriginLab 8.0 and PVGIS. Besides, the test rig facility consists of two PV generators, pre-calibrated digital multi-meters, electrical clamp multi-meter, thermocouples, non-contact infrared sensors and digital anemometer. The common statistical tools for analytical validation used in the present study include the ๐‘…2 for goodness of fit, RMSE, MAPE, MARE and APD. The coefficient of determination ๐‘…2 for all the models developed were all approaching unity which indicates the strength of the models developed. There was good agreement between the simulated and on-station data. The empirical and comparative validation with the locally stationed meteorological data and globally existing models, support the robustness of the present models. The findings were as follows: (i) clearness index ranges for the different regions of Uganda: Northern (0.5288โˆ’0.6077), Eastern (0.5609โˆ’0.6077), Central (0.5123โˆ’0.6224) and Western (0.5123โˆ’0.5893), (ii) the relative sunshine hours models validated with the statistical tools; RMSE (0.0635-0.2248) and MAPE (0.1620-2.5413) compared well with the previous studies. (iii) the navigation results for sunshine hours show the order of regional distribution as; ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘›>๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘›>๐‘๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘™>๐‘ค๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘› region, (iv) that northern and eastern regions are favoured with SPP of 823.9 โ€“ 831.6 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2 and 829.2 โ€“ 822.2 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2, respectively whereas the central and western regions are less favoured with 822.5 โ€“ 809.0 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2 and 797.8 โ€“ 788.5 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2, respectively. That; Biharmonic equation has the capacity to model solar power potential field problems, in this case, northern and eastern regions are most favoured with solar power potential than the central and western regions though the central region has strong winds in some locations of up to 3.49 ๐‘š๐‘ โˆ’1. Furthermore, the study also revealed that in terms of solar power generation, the most favoured region are of the order; northern region (132.8 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2), eastern region (132.7 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2), western region (127.2 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2), and central region (119.6 ๐‘Š๐‘šโˆ’2). Generally, the study provided a road map for deployment of solar facilities, for policy making and agrometeorology development in Uganda and other parts of the world with similar climatological features.
A Thesis Submitted to the Directorate of Higher Degrees and Research Kampala International University Kampala Uganda in Partial Fulfillments of the Requirements for the Degree Of Doctor of Philosophy in Renewable Energy
Modelling, Navigation, Solar electric power, Uganda