Novel solution to provide reliable power

Posted on Mar 16, 2022
Novel solution to provide reliable power

Following our previous post (3 March 2022) Swanbarton Ltd, Wiltshire (UK) in partnership with Gham Power, Kathmandu (Nepal) have completed their study of Nepal’s domestic, commercial, and industrial electricity market, and have produced a novel solution to provide reliable power at an affordable cost.  

We found that economic growth within the country is helping to drive an ever-increasing demand for electricity. However, despite significant investments in generation capacity, and the transmission and distribution networks by the Nepali Energy Authority (NEA), this excess demand means consumers often suffer inconvenient power cuts. 

To help overcome these interruptions to supply and ensure reliable power, many consumers invest in diesel generators or large battery storage systems. However, we found that if just 2% of consumers adopted diesel generators for backup power, annual diesel consumption in Nepal would increase by 9.2 million litres per year. This increased consumption would produce an additional 2,303 tonnes of CO2.  

 A far better alternative would be to use batteries charged from either the grid or on-site solar generation (PV). However, these storage systems are expensive to purchase and run. We found that the total Levelized Cost Of Energy (LCOE) for many customers who adopted this solution was 40 Rs/kWh, nearly four times the cost from the grid!  

 After analysing this dilemma, Swanbarton, alongside our partners Gham Power, proposed a novel grid, solar PV, and battery backup solution. This new solution would utilise Swanbarton’s proprietary battery control software to maximise system efficiency. This control system has the dual effect of saving money for the customer and reducing grid stress, helping the NEA provide reliable power.  

With our novel solution, we suggest that an LCOE below 20 Rs/kWh is possible, putting more reliable and less polluting energy within the grasp of many consumers.  

This project was made possible by a grant from Innovate UK for Global co-operation feasibility studies.