Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering of UPC

Country: Spain

Address: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Calle Jordi Girona, 31, 08034 Barcelona

Email: Laia Ferrer-Martí:
Bruno Domenech:
Matteo Ranaboldo:


We are a group of researchers of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), working on a specific line of applied research in rural electrification with renewable energies. The two main studied topics of our group are micro-scale wind resource assessment and the design of community off-grid electrification projects combining multiple renewable energies, and the distribution through microgrids and individual systems. During last years we have been collaborating with various organizations involved in the promotion of off-grid renewable energy projects in Peru, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cape Verde and Nepal.

We developed a method which, given an isolated rural community, allows obtaining the most suitable solution to the socioeconomic characteristics of the population and to the needs and preferences of projects’ promoters and beneficiaries. For this purpose, an in-house optimization tool was created whose main functioning is here briefly described. The required input data are the position and demand of all users of a certain community, the wind and solar resource maps of the zone and the available equipment in the region (wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, inverters, controllers, electric cables, etc.). By means of specific optimization and multicriteria methods, the tool gives the minimum cost solution that defines the size and location of all the equipments to implement, the individual systems, the microgrids and their structure in order to fulfil the energy and power demands of all users. Moreover the technical characteristics of the equipments and the social requirements of the population are included as constraints and can be adjusted through an interactive process.

For a more detailed description of our work and the developed design method we refer to the publications indicated in the references.

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