Bridge the digital divide using affordable and reliable electric power

About the Project

The iGrid project is a SIDA-funded joint project between the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, and the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in Tanzania.The project focuses on Capacity Development and Enhancement in Tanzania research training program intended to develop human technical and scientific capacity to facilitate implementation of automation on monitoring, evaluation, analysis, control and management of electrical power system (smart grid) in order to improve delivery efficiency and to optimize operational costs in the electrical power system in Tanzania within the area of Microgrid and Electrical  Secondary distribution network.

Our mission is to bridge the digital divide. In order to achieve this, we focus on solving the challenge of access to reliable and affordable electric power. We aim to do so by taking advantage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) such as agent based algorithms, Internet of Things (IoT) and others, to design and implement smart autonomous solar-driven DC based microgrids that can serve small to medium off-grid communities in rural parts of Tanzania. Only 14% of the Tanzanian population has access to electricity in rural Tanzania. As a result, a large section of the population is left without access to the Internet and its related services. We believe current ICTs can be used to improve the power generation and delivery process.

The iGRID research team which consists of MSc, PhD and Post Doc researchers from The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden and The University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, focuses on developing solar based power solutions that are more efficient, reliable and autonomous than existing solutions.

In this portal you will find information about our project, the team behind it, publications and presentations, educational programmes offered, news and events related to the project and different tools and applications used throughout the research process. If you are interested in participating in the project or need any additional information don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Research Activities

The iGRID Research Project is focused on different aspects that enable smart autonomous microgrids. Researchers at different levels, who are members of the team, are working on these challenges. The following is the summary of these research activities:

Agent-based Power Control

The main focus of this research work is to deploy a smart microgrid in a provided area with no sources of electricity. The context involves the autonomous distributed system where there should be a means of research innovation and IoT through provision of solar driven DC microgrid of up to 48V DC. The system will be able to serve the off-grid community of 10-100 households which later on can be integrated in a high voltage AC/DC main grid when available. Agent based distributed control is a promising technology in the provision of autonomous system when interconnecting with the solar systems.

IoT-based Communication

Smart microgrids are one of the new potential solutions that have been proposed to solve the challenge of access to reliable electric power, especially for off-grid rural communities, in developing countries. In order to realize these microgrids, one of the main challenges is a robust and reliable communication infrastructure, to enable different components in the power system to communicate with each other, and allow for smart control and management algorithms to efficiently manage the power distribution process, securely and autonomously. Thus, the main focus of this research is to design and implement a secure and robust communication system based on IoT technologies, that will support a smart 48V DC solar-driven microgrid for an off-grid community.