Powering Rural Agriculture in Low Resource Settings

Sustainable Development Goal target(s)

  • SDG07 (Affordable and Clean Energy)
Project lead Damien Frame (Research Fellow, Electronic & Electrical Engineering)
Open to year groups
  • UG Year 2
  • UG Year 3
  • PGR
Faculties/departments Electronic & Electrical Engineering;Electrical & Mechanical Engineering

Please note: availability can vary between degrees. Please contact your advisor of studies and the project lead for more information.

How to apply

To apply for this project please complete our application form.

Project overview

Decentralised renewable energy systems are being widely deployed in low resource settings across the world, addressing the SDG7 energy access challenge where grid electricity supply is not viable.  In countries like Malawi, enabling access to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy is essential for development of the local (primarily agriculture-based) economies. This project considers both the Productive Use of Energy (PUE) technology that can support progress of multiple SDGs and the design of off-grid renewable energy systems that can power them.

This VIP4SD project is linked to numerous ongoing research and KE projects led by the EEE Energy for Development team and is currently focussing on solar powered off-grid cold storage systems for rural communities.

The associated research and KE projects are mostly focussed on the SDG7 challenges of Malawi and are conducted in partnership with local NGOs. Therefore, the project will be directly influenced by the needs of real communities, will have access to a rich source of data and will have a clear route to impact.

What will students be doing

The main objective of this project is to develop appropriate tools that support techno-economic pre-feasibility assessment of PUE technology and off-grid solar PV systems, supporting decision-making and project design of our NGO partners in Malawi.

Activities will include:

  • researching and assessing appropriate PUE technology (cold storage, small scale milling, oil pressing, tomato processing)
  • designing appropriate Solar PV systems to support the value add technology
  • developing pre-feasibility tools for use by a range of stakeholders
  • Consulting with development practitioners and engineers in Malawi to test and verify the tools

Through this work, students will develop their research and technical engineering skills. They will develop their understanding of renewable energy and gain a holistic understanding of off-grid energy system sustainability while working as part of a diverse team. Students will further develop their understanding of the SDGs and global citizenship.

Have more questions, or want to get involved?

Contact Damien.frame@strath.ac.uk, or apply for this project.