GESS III: PV Off-Grid Systems - from Stand-Alone to Hybrid Mini-Grids

  • Content
  • Learning objectives
  • Target groups
  • Course details

The current trend in rural electrification using solar PV systems moves in two major directions: Small systems using innovative ownership and financing models (e.g. PAYGO) and larger mini-grids where conventional power sources (e.g. Diesel generators) are being hybridized with or fully exchanged by solar PV systems combined with large Li-Ion storage systems. In your training at RENAC you will focus on the technological aspects of both developments. This will enable you to talk at eye level to consultants, experts and solution providers. Going beyond technological aspects, we will facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences on key success factors for rural electrification. Hands-on exercises and working with real-life equipment in our training center will enrich your learning experience and is always named one of the highlights of a training at RENAC by our participants.


  • Rural electrification with PV off-grid systems
  • PV-diesel hybrid mini-grids (with and without energy storage)
  • Project risk analysis, mitigation strategies
  • Financial analysis and business models
  • Hands-on work with solar equipment, incl. the assembly of your own PV off-grid systems
  • Site visit to a PV off-grid system

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The course is designed to:

  • This seminar gives interested persons the knowledge, tools and confidence to make educated decisions on most relevant solar PV project types, i.e. grid-tied, hybrid and off-grid
  • It encourages the exchange of project ideas, challenges and opportunities between all participants who bring in perspectives from around the globe

After the seminar, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate suitable applications for PV off-grid systems
  • List all major components and identify their functions
  • Identify energy efficiency as one key success factor
  • Describe the ways systems can be coupled (AC and/or DC)
  • Weigh options to replace a (diesel) generator with a PV system.
  • Calculate fuel and emissions saved using PV off-grid systems.
  • Differentiate between stand-alone and hybrid operation.
  • Analyse the functionality of an energy management system
  • Size a solar PV array and battery storage (lead-acid and Li-Ion)
  • Wire-up a small off-grid system and test its functionality
  • Assess key success factors for rural electrification projects
  • Evaluate project risks and mitigation strategies
  • Discuss how an “enabling environment” for mini-grids can be created
  • Evaluate business ideas for off-grid solutions

This training will suit those who:

  • Are staff of international development cooperation organisations, REAs, development banks, private companies, etc.
  • Desire to be involved in rural electrification projects using solar PV
  • Have no solid solar PV knowledge base

Qualification level:

No pre-requisites


5 days (from 09:00 - 17:00 each day)


  • 3 days theory
  • 1,5 days practical hands-on exercises
  • 0,5 days field visits


Dr. Emilienne Tingwey
Project Director Face-to-face Trainings
Tel: +49 (0)30 58 70870 52
Email: tingwey[at]

GESS III: PV Off-Grid Systems - from Stand-Alone to Hybrid Mini-Grids
GESS III: PV Off-Grid Systems - from Stand-Alone to Hybrid Mini-Grids


  • Assessment of knowledge acquisition
  • Qualified trainer with wide experience in the industry
  • Up-to-date theoretical lectures, case study, discussion, partner work
  • State-of-the-art practical training (calculations, hands-on exercises)
  • Use of technology specific, self-build practical training rigs
  • Field trips with inspections of power plants, buildings etc.
  • Certificate of attendance
  • 10% discount for early bird registration

Available dates & times

Next Date Location Language Registration deadline Lecturers Price €* Early bird € Valid until  
31.08.20 - 04.09.20 Berlin EN 19.07.2020
1.500,00 1.350,00 1.350,00 05.07.2020
* incl. VAT


Lars Koerner, RENAC
Current position:
Lars Koerner joined Renewables Academy (RENAC) AG in May 2014 as Project Director. He coordinates and conducts training programs at Renewables Academy (RENAC) AG mainly in the field of solar energy systems. Off-grid systems and PV-Diesel-Hybrid mini-grids for rural electrification or industrial applications are his special interest.

Professional experience:
Before joining RENAC Lars gained seven years of experience as project engineer and senior product manager at SolarWorld AG where he also managed several rural electrification projects. His experience in the area of solar energy spans further through his work at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Almeria, Spain and Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg, Germany. He is an expert in sizing and simulation of solar energy systems and the co-author on off-grid systems in Earthscan’s 3rd edition of “Planning and Installing Photovoltaic Systems”.

Lars holds an engineering diploma in Environmental Engineering / Renewable Energies and is also a state-licensed electrician.


"Worth every single penny. Very well organised course and professional trainers."
Mohamad Mneimneh, Lebanon, GESS IIa: Grid-connected and off-grid Photovoltaics, 2018

""It has been a wonderful experience for me [...] with exclusive trainers and staff, and with a great audience of multi-national business professionals"
Adnan Göçhan, Turkey, GESS IIa: Grid-connected and off-grid Photovoltaics, 2018

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