Users Guide to Off-Grid Energy Solutions

Guide Index - Welcome!!

Are You Interested in Trying to Find Some Solutions to Your Off-Grid Energy Needs? Then, read on... or for a

Welcome to the World Bank's "Users' Guide to Off-Grid Energy Solutions". This guidebook was prepared with a wide audience in mind. The target audience is anyone who is contemplating setting up operations, or upgrading their operations, in areas of the world not served by grid electricity. Being "off-grid" is when you are not connected to an electricity grid or network. This is fairly rare in Europe or North America (limited to camping areas, very isolated sites, etc.). However, it is very common in rural areas, and many near-urban (peri-urban) areas of the developing world where electricity companies have been unable to connect domestic, commercial, industrial and institutional consumers. The main thrust of this workbook is to provide "off-grid solutions".

As the potential reader you could be an aid worker about to locate a project office in the developing world where electricity is unavailable. You could be a television camera crew looking to set up a base camp in an area not served by the electricity grid. You might be a householder in rural Africa, Asia or Latin America seeking to provide you and your family with television, radio, refrigerator or other amenities.

In all of these situations, you will face a number of choices concerning the type of appliances you should choose, their appropriateness for your situation, and the source(s) of energy that you should supply. This guidebooks sets out some guidelines that asks you first to evaluate your situation carefully, define your needs carefully, already begin to think about energy supply options before choosing your appliances, and, in all situations, choose your appliances to match your energy supply options.

While this guidebook focuses considerably on photovoltaics and renewable energy sources, it also clearly recognises and sets out the limits of PV, Renewables, Electricity And Gas. The important thing to remember is to choose the energy supply set up that suits your needs, requirements and situation best, and not choose the wrong energy supplies for your needs and demand.

This guidebook is interactive. It consists of five modules :

Introduction

Lighting

Pumping

Cooling/refrigeration/freezing

Audio-visuals

Each module describes the situations that might apply to you. It helps you define your daily energy requirements, and then identify how you might meet those requirements. It sets out various energy supply options, and their basic costs and benefits. It provides dynamic links to glossaries of technical terms, of concepts, of more detailed discussions of various issues (such as pumping, such as PV system requirements, such as various renewable energy options).

The guidebook is further linked to a wide range of services and information on the Internet. You will find hypertext links to each of these in their relevant places to enable you to explore as widely and as in-depth as you need and require. At the end of each module is a set of suppliers who you could contact to explore your technical and equipment options further. These include Internet links to some of the largest suppliers of equipment for the off-grid energy consumer. They offer you further links to gain technical information, prices, delivery times, and the like. A list of further readings, in addition to those linked in the main text of each module, provides you with Internet, phone, fax and email links. These link you to some of the world's most knowledgeable sources and agencies, as well as on-line text and references you might wish to follow to expand your knowledge on the topics.

The guide is designed for those who wish either to have the minimum information to make their off-grid energy choices, or those who wish to study the topics in great detail. Spend some time navigating around the site, delving into the various links, and we believe you will find most of the answers to what you are looking for. However, as with any guidebook, there will always be deficiencies and nothing beats exploring some of the world on your own to give you the confidence to make the right decisions.

Also, we recommend you explore other sites and links to improve your information and understanding of issues. Here are some particularly useful links that will widen access. Click here for: Some Good Links on the World Wide Web

Quick start navigation

At the bottom of each page on this web site you will find a table to help you navigate this guide book. The site is divided into five main pages: Introduction, Lighting, Pumping, Cooling/refrigeration/freezing and Audio Visual that you can get to by clicking on the appropriate graphic or word. Each of these pages has its own supplier and further reading pages (each full of Internet and Email connections to aid you with your information search and readings). Each can be accessed by clicking on the blue van or pile of books below the appropriate page. There is also a home page icon that will bring you back to this page and a glossary icon that will take you to a page that defines the terms used on this site. We hope you find the guide useful and fun! To start click on any of the icons in the table below. Have fun reading and exploring!  

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