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The ‘low power’ revolution: Rural off-grid consumer technologies and portable micropower systems in non-industrialised regions

McHenry, M.P. and Doepel, D. (2015) The ‘low power’ revolution: Rural off-grid consumer technologies and portable micropower systems in non-industrialised regions. Renewable Energy, 78 . pp. 679-684.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2015.01.052
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Abstract

This review analyses the growth in small 'low power' renewable energy and consumer product technologies and their potential utility in rural and remote economic development. The historical legacy of increasingly industrial-scale and expensive centralised high voltage alternating current (AC) systems contrasts starkly against the dynamic plethora of energy efficient portable low power direct current (DC) devices and consumer goods that underpin a modern economy. Advantages of portable DC devices are their inherent utility as a deferrable load and imbedded storage, enabling the appliance to become the balance of system (BOS) component and the power management system when coupled to portable renewable energy system or a microgrid. These developments present the opportunity to revise broad assumptions of appropriate energy system investment models for non-industrialised nations without an expensive historical centralised high voltage AC industrialisation legacy. It also presents the opportunity to revisit appropriate rural clean energy stand-alone or microgrid system designs and configurations, and engage the information and communication technology (ICT) sector as a major new investor in energy services and infrastructure.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/25408
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