Optimization of Hybrid Distributed Generation Systems For Rural Communities in Alaska

  • Lindsay Willman Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, MC 4020, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA
  • Moncef Krarti Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 428 UCB, Boulder, CO, 80309-0428, USA
Keywords: hybrid distributed generation, remote communities, levelized cost of energy, HOMER, wind-diesel hybrid systems

Abstract

This article summarizes the results from a feasibility study to design optimal distributed generation (DG) plants for three remote communities in Alaska. All three of these towns have isolated electrical grids and currently rely on diesel fuel for 100% of their electricity and heating requirements. This assessment included an analysis of each community’s electrical and thermal load, a wind and solar resource evaluation, modeling and optimization of various DG systems using HOMER software, and an economic analysis of these systems. For all three of the communities, hybrid wind-diesel systems have the potential to provide reductions in the cost of energy. However, the economic feasibility of these systems is extremely site-specific. In addition to providing possible decreases in the cost of energy, these hybrid systems can also provide significant environmental benefits, such as reductions in diesel fuel use and CO2 emissions. Future research should evaluate hybrid solar/wind generators with combined-heat-and- power (CHP) diesel engines.

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Author Biographies

Lindsay Willman, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, MC 4020, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA

Lindsay Willman is a graduate student in the Atmosphere/Energy Program in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Stanford University. She has worked on several projects related to renewable energy technologies and hybrid energy systems for rural communities. She has also investigated the impacts that energy systems have on air pollution and climate. Contact:

Lindsay Willman Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, MC 4020, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA

Moncef Krarti, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 428 UCB, Boulder, CO, 80309-0428, USA

Moncef Krarti, Professor, Building Systems Program, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Department at the University of Colorado, has vast experience in designing, testing, and assessing innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies applied to buildings. He also directed several projects in energy management of buildings. He has published textbooks on energy audits of building systems that are widely used to teach energy audit techniques. Moreover, Prof. Krarti has published over 200 technical journals and handbook chapters in various fields related to energy efficiency, combined heat and power, and renewable energy technologies. Contact:

Moncef Krarti, PhD, PE, LEED®AP Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 428 UCB, Boulder, CO, 80309-0428, USA

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