Husk Power Systems

Biomass and Solar PV Hybrid Minigrids for Off-Grid Farming Communities

Obstacle

Rural, off-grid communities in Tanzania and Nigeria that rely on solar PV systems are limited in their hours of agricultural operations and access to electricity. Diesel generators and battery back-ups are expensive to operate.

Innovation Type

Energy-Food

Seeking investment?

Yes

Country of Incorporation

Tanzania

Country(Ies) of Implementation

Nigeria, Tanzania

Contact Name

Manoj Sinha

Product Segment

Energy - Residential & Commercial Energy Production

Husk Power Systems (HPS) designs, installs, and operates biomass and solar photovoltaic (PV)-based power plants. HPS has partnered with Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) in Nigeria, and Technology Management Group (TMG) in Ghana. DDI is a not-for-profit development service provider. TMG is an electrical contracting company that provides solutions for rural and urban electrification challenges.

Husk Power will install a hybrid solution that combines a biomass gasification system with a solar PV system. The biomass plant uses a proprietary downdraft gasification technology that converts abundant agricultural residue into electricity. The system will power a mini-grid that produces electricity for residential, as well as agricultural, needs. The electricity is distributed to rural households and micro-enterprises through a mini-grid system—providing a better quality, cheaper way to meet their need for energy. Agricultural uses that will be powered include irrigation pumps, agro-processing mills, and drying and heating processes. The biomass plant converts abundant agricultural residue, such as maize cobs, rice husks, coffee husks, and cotton stalks, into electricity.

Husk Power Systems has installed two hybrid solar/biomass plants in Tanzania. Three additional hybrid mini-grids are being installed and will be commissioned by the first quarter of 2019–all located in Tanzania. They provide 24/7 power, with a discounted tariff for daytime usage in order to pass on the cost benefits of the lower cost of power generation from solar PV. At each site, three professionals are trained to operate the systems. Husk’s systems currently use SparkMeter, a product developed as spin-off of the work done by Powering Agriculture Innovator EarthSpark International. Husk Power Systems is in conversations with various partners in Nigeria to identify opportunities.

Challenge

Rural, off-grid communities in Tanzania and Nigeria that rely on solar PV systems are limited in their hours of agricultural operations and access to electricity. Diesel generators and battery back-ups are expensive to operate, so operations are limited to a single shift.

Solution

Husk Power Systems builds, owns, operates, and manages a hybrid solution that combines a biomass gasification system with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Husk Power System’s solution allows access to electricity in rural, off-grid communities in Tanzania and Nigeria and extends the hours available for agricultural operations. The biomass plant uses a proprietary downdraft gasification technology that converts abundant agricultural residue, such as maize cobs, rice husks, coffee husks, and cotton stalks, into electricity. The system powers a mini-grid that produces electricity for residential, as well as agricultural, commercial, institutional, and industrial, needs. The electricity is distributed to rural households and micro-enterprises through a mini-grid system—providing a better quality, cheaper way to meet their needs for energy. Agricultural uses that will be powered include irrigation pumps, agro-processing mills, and drying and heating processes.

Videos

Print