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Stirling Engine: The Key to Accelerate Electrification through Biomass Utilization in Remote Area

Indonesia is a tropical archipelago with a diversified biodiversity and a number of potential energy sources. However, as an archipelagic country controlled mostly by the sea, Indonesia must adapt to and take use of these characteristics in all areas. In fact, biodiversity and its inhabitants, who come from a variety of cultural origins, are a reflection of the impact of cultural isolation, which is influenced heavily by the distance and maritime boundaries between islands. As a result, if the Indonesian notion of energy distribution is applied to these circumstances, centralized electrification is considered less efficient and costly.

Indonesia now has a very even distribution of power plants with various energy sources across the country. Renewable energy is also one of the reasons that leads to energy diversification that is tailored to the area’s current resources. However, not all of Indonesia’s inhabited locations have topography suitable for the development of electrical distribution infrastructure. Population zoning systems exist in some locations, with high-density communities separated from low-density rural areas. Because of the sparse distribution of the population in rural areas, more work is needed to hasten electrification.

As a result, off-grid electrification can be a way to speed up the distribution of electrical energy in rural places where regional access is limited. The purchase of a biomass-fueled Stirling Engine unit for home/communal use is one option that can be implemented in Indonesia. The Stirling Engine is an energy conversion engine that converts external heat into electrical energy, therefore it may theoretically produce energy from any fuel. This technique is then paired with biomass, which is a plentiful resource in Indonesia, particularly in rural and agricultural areas, as well as plantation areas. Stirling engines can be made using wood, twigs, rice husks, and forest leaves as a source of energy to supply continuous electrical energy.

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Abrar Ridhollah

Renewable energy analyst, Experienced in designing and prototyping metallurgical processing unit, high temperature and mineral processing equipment, and hands-on troubleshooting for mechanical and electrical equipments.