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Design of Stand Alone Renewable Power Supply Systems on Futuna Island, Vanuatu

This Master’s Degree project has been performed on behalf of Vanuatu Renewable Energy and Power Association. The purpose of the project was to suggest the design of stand-alone renewable power supply systems on Futuna Island in the Republic of Vanuatu.

Futuna is the easternmost island in Vanuatu with a population of about 400 people. The island covers an area of just 13 km. The proposed sites for power production were the villages of Mission Bay, Matangi, Herald Bay and Iahsoa. In Mission Bay and Matangi the power should be produced by wind turbines and in Herald Bay and Iahsoa, solar modules are proposed.

The results of the study showed that some parts of Futuna Island can be suitable for wind power production and wind speeds in the order of 5-7 m/s are suggested. However, wind monitoring on the sites are required to estimate the exact potential. Furthermore, the study showed that there is less uncertainty involved with estimating the power output from the solar modules. In addition, solar power proved to be more reliable and less vulnerable to local variations in weather and topography. Solar modules are therefore considered more appropriate for small scale power production on the island, at least until the wind climate is better known.

The results of the study also showed that proper sizing of battery banks and cables are essential to increase the efficiency and lifetime of the systems. If there are insufficient financial resources in the project, it is therefore recommended in the report to use all resources available to properly size the systems in 1-2 villages rather than to inadequately size the systems in all the villages.
Source: Uppsala University
Author: Berning, Katrine

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