Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Timothy Healy

Second Advisor

James Reites, S.J.


Despite the great technological advancements and discoveries that have been made throughout the last century, 1.2 billion people still live without access to electricity, 95% of which live in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia.1 In this paper, we discuss how we designed and implemented a self-sustaining, affordable and highly replicable solar microgrid in order to accelerate the electrification of rural communities in the most environmentally conscious way possible. Our project focused on developing a microgrid for a small community of 10 households in rural Benin that previously had no access to electricity. We travelled to this village in December of 2015 and successfully installed our design. Direct current (DC) was used to transmit power and the microgrid consists of a central power station containing a photovoltaic array, batteries and a charge controller to power light bulbs and cell phone chargers for the villagers. Our hope is that the installed microgrid will serve as a template for the electrification of nearby communities.