[Gasification] information for Ethiopia

David Meed david at meed.ca
Thu Nov 6 10:31:31 CST 2014

On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:07 AM,
Melkamu Nibret <mjr156melka at gmail.com> wrote:

> 1. I am working on microgrid design for the rural village.it is off grid
> and I am doing the power generation part .the village have 400 households
> and now the village use kerosene for light purpose and wood for cooking.so
> I am designing a microgrid having the solar and wind system
for lighting and other purpose .I choose to use wind and solar because the
> village have a good solar radiation and wind speed potential. For the wind
> I am planning to use small wind turbine. Now I don’t have a bouge

​Both solar and wind have power storage issues that must be addressed in
any plan. How will you store the power for the times when the sun is not
shining or the wind blowing?​ Batteries are great, if not very efficient,
but what is the lifetime of the batteries, and will there be funds for the
villagers to replace the batteries when they die?  I expect that lead acid
batteries are the easiest to pick up in Africa, but they are usually only
good for 5-7 years. Perhaps you might also research the nickel/iron edison

Are you picturing several small power plants (each feeding 5 or 10
households in a small group) or one large power plant with power wires
strung through the village?  Are you picturing an individual power supply
for each house?

For lighting, cell phones and laptop computers - small solar panels and LED
lights with a battery will work on a house by house basis - but who will
have the funds to replace the batteries every 5 years?

What kind of fuel do the villagers have for a gasifier (either for thermal
stoves, or for running engines for electricity)? (Are there trees that grow
rapidly and can be chipped up as fuel (better)?  Grass/hay/crop residues
(probably not as easy)?)

How much investment do the villagers have in this?  Will they want to
continue after the grant funds are dried up?  The technologies need to be
inexpensive enough for them to replace out of their own pockets if this is
to be something self-sustaining.

Something small like Steve Abadessa's "gas station" could run a 5-10 kw
generator at nights.  (He hangs out on the WoodGas group on Yahoo groups,
and has a website at www.northernselfreliance.com .) There are probably
other gasifier companies and systems that you can investigate, but most of
them are not cheap. The basic technology behind gasifiers is fairly simple,
though, as long as they have access to gasoline powered engines.

I did see something about a solar concentrator dish with a steam driven
water pump.  I think there are some in Ethiopia somewhere.  Are you aware
of this unit, and could it be hooked to a generator instead of the water


Is this the university?

I tried to read the Summary new compiled_0.pdf report, but unfortunately
the item 7 on page 14 about energy in Kollela village is Amharic and I
can't read it.  Do you have an English translation of that paragraph?

​David Meed (spent 9 years in Ethiopia as a child)
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