Optimum sizing and triple bottom line analysis of integrating hybrid renewable energy systems into the micro-grid

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Saiprasad, Nithya (2019) Optimum sizing and triple bottom line analysis of integrating hybrid renewable energy systems into the micro-grid. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


There have been growing concerns over global warming, and this has increased the awareness towards the reduction of Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many countries including Australia have signed the “Paris Agreement” to try and combat global climate change. This agreement aims to restrict global temperature rise under 2ºC above pre-industrial levels and further limit the temperature rise to 1.5ºC. In December 2018, the United Nations Climate Change conference was held in Katowice, Poland and a framework called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) was agreed upon to help in implementing regulations of 2015 Paris Agreement. The agreement also ensures boosting support to developing countries to counter this threat. In order to help the developing and the most vulnerable countries achieve these rather ambitious goals, this new framework will focus on technology, financial flows and capacity improvement. The global reliance on fossil fuels, which contributes approximately 80% of primary energy, has resulted in the rise of global temperatures. Several countries have begun to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and thus GHG emissions, by shifting their focus towards Renewable Energy (RE). Thus, RE has become a “go to” energy source to solve the aforementioned global issues with a pronounced focus on the guiding energy policies Energy, economics and environment play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of a country. Adoption of RE would be the key to ensuring energy sustainability and also reducing the environmental impact, thus helping RE to reach the citizens. Having acknowledged these global challenges and thus relying on RE for the energy needs, sustainability can be achieved by modernising the present micro-grids by integrating RE into them. In order to integrate RE into the existing micro-grid, sizing of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) using RE sources are investigated to improve their energy production mechanism and enhance the overall efficiency. There are several approaches to size the RE sources into a micro-grid. Two approaches are followed for sizing HRES based on analysing the electricity consumption of the area of interest relying on: (i) Hybrid Optimisation of Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER) software and (ii) improved Hybrid Optimisation using Genetic Algorithm (iHOGA) software. This study highlights the issues related to the optimal sizing of the DERs by investigating their use of the novel application in micro-grids, using both photovoltaic (PV), wind turbine (WT) as the RES for supplying power to the grid for residences and commercial building at Aralvaimozhi, India and Warrnambool, Australia. These two chosen locations are bestowed with good sunlight and wind. The average solar radiation in Warrnambool 4.16kWh/m2/day and annual average wind velocity 5.96m/s. The wind speed and the average solar radiation at Aralvaimozhi are 7.16m/s and 5.05kWh/m2/day respectively. Aralvaimozhi has been spotted as a potential wind farm location according to the Government of Tamil Nadu. India being a developing country and Australia, a developed country, their respective energy policies are scrutinised to understand their energy policies status. Suggestions to improve RE adoption by understanding the energy policies laid by other RE developed counties like Germany, USA, etc. have been conducted. Triple Bottom Line (TBL) analysis is conducted to understand the feasibility of adopting RE into a micro-grid. It focuses on the Techno-economic, environmental and social perspectives to understand the feasibility of RE adoption from the perspective of a developed country (Australia) versus a developing country (India). In this respect, a prototype model of the micro-grid is studied and used at Victoria University, Footscray Campus for various scenarios.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/40010
Subjects Current > FOR Classification > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Keywords energy; renewable energy; micro-grids; electricity; distributed energy resources; green energy; Australia; India; Hybrid Optimisation of Multiple Energy Resources; HOMER; improved Hybrid Optimisation using Genetic Algorithm; iHOGA; triple bottom line; Victoria University
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