Power supplies are the workhorses behind all electronics and electrical equipment in every community. They come in numerous varieties to fit the gamut for the systems they power. The race towards smaller, greener and cheaper power supply designs is more intense than ever. Higher efficiencies, higher power densities, time to market, standard requirements and cost reductions are impacting designs and designers alike.

Designing a power supply is a complex process. When and where FNG can, we try to augment a part of the indigenous communities energy needs within our own FNG Community Garden Farm Facility. We continually engage emerging technology, with the goal of remaining technologically advanced in the best interest of the environment and our indigenous partners. We include renewable energy resources for both ‘community-owned’ projects and our third party-owned facilities, whose power-source can be shared by a community, in our comprehensive planning process. “Renewable energies” is an important concept worth serious consideration for each individual 4seasons Community Garden Farming project. We then make this technology available to each and every First Nation and/or Inuit community that we work with across Canada, creating a cohesive relationship between community, environment and each 4seasons garden farming facility.

The International Energy Agency has projected that, in the absence of new actions, there will be one billion people lacking access to electricity in 2030. Most of those people live in remote communities world wide, far away from utility grid. It is usually impractical or uneconomical to extend utility grid to those dispersed populated areas due to the prohibitive costs of constructing the network. Therefore, electrification of those communities is primarily covered by standalone diesel generators.However, problems from diesel based power supply, such as pollution and high fuel cost, have attracted extensive public consideration of locally available renewable energy (RE) resources to supply power. Advances in RE technologies and rise in cost of diesel make the RE systems becoming increasingly popular, notably in remote areas. At the same time, some inter-related initiatives are also carried out to promote the RE utilization not only by the government but also the power supply companies. Recent studies suggest that a stand-alone RE system can provide a cost-effective alternative to the expensive grid extension or diesel electrification.

In addition, renewable and nonrenewable energy sources have remarkably different economic characteristics. The high initial capital cost possibly is still the biggest barrier to RE promotion, while conventional power such as diesel tends to have high operating cost. Therefore, a trade-off between renewable energy and conventional energy should be carefully considered with respect to the lifecycle cost, environmental conservation and technical feasibility.

The results of hybrid solar–wind–diesel–battery are evaluated with an elaborate analysis in terms of power supply quality, life cycle cost, and greenhouse gas emission. The motivation of this study is try to examine all possible power supply solutions for this island, including renewable and non-renewable power generation. Therefore eight possible power generation options in total are investigated, including hybrid RE and diesel system with storage and without storage.

Therefore, a diesel generator is included to make a hybrid RE and diesel system. The diesel generator provision can ramp up and down, to accommodate the intermittent output of RE. One advantage for including a diesel generator is the significan’t decrease in storage capacity of the battery bank, the PV capacity and wind turbine (WT) capacity, hence reducing system cost and improving power supply reliability, whilst an optimal combination of PV, WT and batteries can limit the fuel consumption of the generator.

The schematic diagram of a hybrid solar–wind–diesel–battery system, solar and wind resources typically provide bulk energy, whereas diesel generator is performed as backup. The PV and WT produce DC power, which is converted into AC power by the converter to serve the load, and the remaining power will be used to charge the battery bank. When the RE output cannot meet the load demand, the dispatch-able components (battery and diesel generator) will be launched. The converter is bidirectional, not only converting the DC power from RE and batteries to AC power for serving the load but also converting the diesel surplus AC power to charge the battery.