© 2018

Off-Grid Electrical Systems in Developing Countries


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Electricity Access

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Henry Louie
      Pages 3-20
    3. Henry Louie
      Pages 21-52
    4. Henry Louie
      Pages 53-82
    5. Henry Louie
      Pages 83-100
  3. Energy Conversion Technologies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 101-101
    2. Henry Louie
      Pages 137-182
    3. Henry Louie
      Pages 183-210
  4. Energy Storage and Converters

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 211-211
    2. Henry Louie
      Pages 213-259
    3. Henry Louie
      Pages 261-306
  5. Off-Grid Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 307-307
    2. Henry Louie
      Pages 309-353
    3. Henry Louie
      Pages 447-460
    4. Henry Louie
      Pages 461-467
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 469-481

About this book


This book provides students and practicing engineers with a comprehensive guide to off-grid electrification: from microgrids and energy kiosks to solar home systems and solar lanterns. As the off-grid electrification industry grows, universities are starting and expanding courses and programs in humanitarian engineering and appropriate technology. However, there is no textbook that serves this growing market. This book fills that gap by providing a technical foundation of off-grid electrical systems, putting into context the technical aspects for developing countries, and discussing best practices by utilizing real-world data.  

Chapters expertly integrate the technical aspects of off-grid systems with lessons learned from industry-practitioners taking a pragmatic, data-driven perspective. A variety of off-grid systems and technologies are discussed, including solar, wind, hydro, generator sets, biomass systems, battery storage and converters.  Realistic examples, case studies and practical considerations from actual systems highlight the interaction of off-grid systems with the economic, environmental, social and broader development aspects of rural electrification. Whole chapters are dedicated to the operation and control of mini-grids, load and resource estimation, and design of off-grid systems.

Special topics focused on electricity access in developing countries are included, such as energy use in rural communities, technical and economic considerations of grid extension, electricity theft, metering, and best practices devoted to common problems. 

Each chapter is instructor friendly and contains illustrative examples and problems that reinforce key concepts. Complex, open-ended design problems throughout the book challenge the reader to think critically and deeply.  The book is appropriate for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses related to electrical and energy engineering, humanitarian engineering, and appropriate technology.

  • Provides a technical foundation of off-grid electrical systems;
  • Contextualizes the technical aspects for developing countries;
  • Captures the current and state-of-the art in this rapidly developing field.


Off-Grid Systems Solar Home Systems & Lanterns Sustainable Development Lithium Ion Batteries Energy Poverty PV Array Grid Extension Metering Turbines Lead Acid Batteries

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical and Computer EngineeringSeattle UniversitySeattleUSA

About the authors

Dr. Henry Louie received his B.S.E.E. degree from Kettering University in 2002, his M.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004 and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2008. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seattle University. Dr Louie is a 2015/2016 recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar award to Copperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia. Dr. Louie’s research areas include electrification access in developing communities, renewable energy and appropriate technology. He is the President and Co-founder of KiloWatts for Humanity, a non-profit organization providing electricity access and business opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. He has deployed several renewable off-grid systems in Zambia and Kenya.  In 2017, Dr. Louie joined the editorial board of the Elsevier-indexed journal “Energy for Sustainable Development.”  He is on the steering committee of IEEE Smart Village and was the youngest person to serve as a Vice President of the IEEE Power & Energy Society. He is a founding member of the IEEE PES Working Group on Sustainable Energy Systems for Developing Communities. Dr. Louie is recognized as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for his expertise on energy poverty. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a registered professional engineer in Zambia.


Bibliographic information