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MSc Thesis: Comparative Study of Photovoltaics and Dish Stirling Engines for Decentralised Power Generation in Sudan

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posted on 17.03.2018, 16:00 authored by Mohamed AlhajMohamed Alhaj

The problem of electricity access in Sudan is a serious one as only 35.9% of the population have electricity access (in 2010) compared with the global average of 77.6%. The most successful approach to tackle this problem so far is decentralized power systems because extending the main grid is costly. These distributed systems usually employ renewable energy technologies like photovoltaics. However, PV modules have high capital costs and their efficiency degrades due to dust and high temperatures. There is a need to compare solar energy technologies and identify which one is most suitable for implementation in Sudan. Hence this study implements techno-economic analysis between PV and another promising technology which is dish Stirling engines. The comparison study was conducted for a 2.1 MW plant implemented in Abu Jubayha in the southern part of Sudan (10.8 N and 29.68 E) using SAM software developed by NREL. It was found that on a monthly basis, the PV system produces more energy during the autumn season (July –November) and is able to meet the monthly load for 7 months in the year compared to only 6 months by the dish Stirling system. The total capital cost for the dish Stirling system was found to be 2.5 times more than the PV system. Moreover, using the design PPA price of 4 cents/kWh, neither systems has a positive NPV. The minimum profitable PPA price is 19 cents/kWh for the PV system and 40 cents/kWh for the dish Stirling system. Using these profitable PPA prices, the NPV is $747,192 for the PV system and $168,675 for the dish Stirling system. Overall, this study identifies PV technology to be more cost competitive than the dish Stirling engine mainly because of good response to diffuse radiation and large scale production which reduces the unit cost.


The National University of Malaysia (UKM)