MG FARM: Smart stand-alone micro-grids as a solution for agriculture farms electrification

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Partners

Project coordinator: Serge Pierfederici, Université de Lorraine, France

Project coordinator:

Project partners:

Main topic addressed: Productive uses and new applications of solar energy

Aim of MG FARM

MG FARM aims to develop smart microgrids based on a Renewable Energy System to support the sustainable development of the energy, water and agriculture sectors.

Background

Algeria and Morocco have ambitious plans to modernize the agricultural sector with the aims of ensuring food security and growing and diversifying exports. Due to the significant roles of energy and water in the development of agriculture, the attainment of these targets is highly dependent on sustainable development.

About the project

MG-FARM focuses on the development of smart microgrids based on renewable energy sources to support the sustainable development of the three sectors: energy, water and agriculture. The main objective is to adapt the system to the load profile and storage strategies of modern and sustainable agricultural practices and to serve typical requirements such as pumping, irrigating, and cooling. Furthermore, the process between generating, distributing, and storing electricity and water will be optimized by identifying further renewable energy and water sources and using reservoirs and cooling chambers as means for storage.

3 PhD co-supervised thesis subjects will be proposed, as well as the development of 2 reduced-power prototypes (10 kW) which will be installed at the Green Energy Parc (Morocco) and the UDES (Algeria). Both research structures have direct access to farms and will enable the proposed solutions to be deployed and field validated.

The project will also create opportunities through local use of the excess energy produced in the microgrid through the different seasons in neighbouring farms or dwellings.  The project also will raise awareness of the potential of renewable energy sources across other sectors such as gender and youth inclusion, job and SME creation in rural areas, ICT and electric mobility. The ideal conditions for connecting to the national grid, that would permit injection or different types of grid services, will be explored too.

Expected results

The installed Digitized RE Microgrid Smart Storage Systems will have contribute to the development of a data based research and education framework for the integration of smart grids in the MENA region. The project will enhance local capacities for the digitized renewable energy Microgrid Smart Storage Systems to enable the connected farms to increase their production, save water and energy. Expected results include:

  • A Plug&Play concept of microgrids that can be connected or disconnected without intervention or changes to manual settings
  • Designing the prototypes, the microgrid, the battery, and the data interface (setting up AI, IoT and smart metering for data monitoring and blockchain technology to code the energy packet transactions)
  • Assessment of the agricultural activities and practices of the pilot farms with focus on energy and water consumption and assessment of the socio economic environment
  • Analysis of the energy, water and agriculture policies and strategies in Algeria and Morocco
  • Modelling and designing the optimized energy, water, and material flow within the farm
  • Validations of power electronics topology, its smart storage and energy management systems
  • On site (Morocco) validation under real conditions
  • PhD co supervision 3 PhD thesis), writing journal papers, participate in international conferences