Rural Electrification Practicalities of Using Single Wire Earth Return as a Low-Cost Method for Grid Extension: The Case of Ntenjeru, Uganda
Silva, Izael P. Da
MetadataShow full item record
The fact that the vast majority of Uganda’s rural areas remain un-electrified makes it imperative that low cost distribution technologies be implemented in order to provide affordable electricity to rural households. Such low cost technologies include the Shield Wire System (SWS), Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) and appropriate engineering techniques. The SWER technology is presented in this paper as well as the implications of its proposed implementation for electrification of the village of Ntenjeru in Uganda. While SWER can reduce the costs of electrification by more than a third compared to conventional high tension transmission lines, there are stringent grounding and safety issues as well as load capacity constraints involved. Furthermore, with the earth used as a current return path, soil resistivity analysis is important in these systems. Since soil resistivity can vary sharply over varying terrain and in different weather conditions, robust SWER systems have to be carefully designed. An analysis of the financial and electrical load implications of this technology in Uganda’s local conditions will be presented and its viability as a sustainable method for electric energy distribution in the chosen case study area.