Electricity from wood-fired gasification in Uganda - a 250 and 10kW case study
Da Silva, Izael
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Wood gasification systems have the potential to contribute to the rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper presents an operational and economic analysis of two wood-based gasification systems (250 and 10 kW) installed in Uganda in 2007. Both systems proved their potential to compete economically with diesel generated electricity when operating close to the rated capacity. At an output of 150 kW running for ~12 h/day and 8 kW running for ~8h/day, the systems produced electricity at US$ 0.18 and 0.34/kWh, respectively. A stable electricity demand close to the rated capacity proved to be a challenge for both systems. Fuelwood costs accounted for ~US$0.03/kWh for both systems. Recovery of even a small fraction of the excess heat (22%) already resulted in substantial profitability gains for the 250 kW system. Results indicate that replicating successful wood gasification systems stipulates integration of sustainable fuelwood supply and viable business models.