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Synthesis optimization of energy systems maximizing regional profit

Ferreira Nascimento, Leonardo Teodoro (2017) Synthesis optimization of energy systems maximizing regional profit.

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Abstract:The energy sector plays an important role in the mitigation of climate change impacts. Renewable energy technologies have been increasing their market share but there are still much to be improved in order to assure better acceptance of these technologies. Several solutions can be investigated; this work assumes that the best strategy for a successful energy transition is based on a bottom-up approach and that there is need to make projects more attractive for local stakeholders. Also, it is assumed that, in order to make renewable energy projects more attractive, they need to be more sustainable. Sustainability is analyzed considering the triple-bottom line framework. The environmental dimension is already contemplated by the nature of the projects. Therefore, there is need to include the social and financial spheres. The social, due to its subjective facet, is included qualitatively in the decision making process during the development of the project. The financial is included in the model by seeking the maximization of the profit. Therefore, the attractiveness problem can be defined as the design of a renewable energy system that can simultaneously maximize the profit for a certain region and respect the local economy/community. The energy system is analyzed as a process network and optimized considering a synthesis approach based on well-established tools. The theoretical background is presented and a case study performed over a Brazilian region in order to assess if the results obtained can help the proposal of more attractive renewable energy projects. The region was considered isolated from the surroundings and there was no heat requirement. Therefore, the focus was the production of electricity to fulfill the internal demand. At all stages, it was assumed that no change in the current regional agriculture practices is desired as a way to englobe the social dimension. The initial scenario is based on the use of the regional agriculture streams in order to produce electricity from biomass. It was concluded that the tool can help the identification of solutions that give the region a higher level of profit when compared with the current situation. Even though the initial scenario was not able to produce enough electricity to fulfill the internal demand, the approach enables the identification of alternatives for the expansion of the electricity production and its impacts. Furthermore, it enables the identification of critical aspects of the project that could be overlooked if only the technical perspective was considered. This work supports the concept that renewable energy projects need to be approached from a socio-technical perspective. It is possible to couple a technical optimum design respecting the regional practices with an enhanced profit for the region. Considering that these projects enhance stakeholder satisfaction they are more likely to be successfully implemented than project based only in a technological design. Also, since the methodology of this work is not time consuming it can be used as a first assessment of the region’s possibilities. It enables the design of better interconnected systems and also the maximization of the profit.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
Clients:
Graz University of Technology, Austria
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Sustainable Energy Technology MSc (60443)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/71979
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