Mini-grids are composed of energy production systems, energy distribution systems and end-user systems. Mini-grid technical design is the process of selecting the components and configurations for each system that will deliver safe, reliable, cost-effective energy services that meet the needs of end users.

Technical design decisions depend on end users’ energy needs, including load demands and times of use, as well as the cost and availability of technologies. Different technical designs have various tradeoffs in cost, power reliability, grid-connection potential and load efficiency and flexibility. Computer simulations and modeling can help project developers evaluate the options. Technical standards help ensure safety and compatibility.

What are the technical components of a mini-grid?

A mini-grid’s basic technical components are grouped into production, distribution and end-user systems. Read more »

What are the key steps of mini-grid technical design?

Key steps include defining geographic scope, assessing available resources, sizing the system, selecting the configuration and designing the distribution system. Read more »

With what technical standards should mini-grids comply?

International codes and standards govern the design quality, safety and reliability of mini-grid installations. They serve as the basis for national standards and as references for international contracts. Read more »

What are the tradeoffs among different technical designs?

Each design has tradeoffs, so developers need to identify the most important variables for the project and consider how each design choice impacts those variables. Read more »