Optimal Energy System for Single Household in Nigeria

Optimal Energy System for Single Household in Nigeria

Vincent Anayochukwu Ani (Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/ijeoe.2013070102
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Hybrid PV/Wind power system can be used to generate electricity consumed in household. This paper presents the design of a stand-alone Hybrid PV/Wind energy system for a household in University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in Eastern Nigeria with a daily load of 5.2kwh/d. Solar and wind resources for the design of the system were obtained from the NASA Surface Meteorology and solar energy website at a location of 6° 51' N latitude and 7° 24' E longitude, with annual average solar radiation of 4.92kWh/m2/d and annual average wind speed of 2.1m/s. The study is based on modeling, simulation and optimization of energy system in UNN. The model was designed to provide an optimal system configuration based on hour-by-hour data for energy availability and demands. Energy source, energy storage and their applicability in terms of cost and performance are discussed. The Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) software is used to study and design the proposed stand-alone Hybrid PV/Wind power system model. The designed Hybrid PV/Wind was compared to gasoline generator in order to choose the best energy system for the household. Total Net Present Cost (NPC) and impact on the environment are used as indices for measuring the optimization level of each energy solution. Simulation results show the Hybrid PV/Wind option ($317,907; 0 tonnes of CO2) to be superior to conventional solution ($374,237; 2.049 tonnes of CO2) whereby gasoline generators are currently used to power household around Nigeria.
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Poor governance and endemic corruption plague Nigeria and negatively impact the energy sector.The epileptic nature of power supply from the public utility has been a serious challenge and concern to Nigerians recently (Ani, 2012). Due to the inability of the public utility to provide steady, reliable and efficient power, alternative power is sort by individuals for their daily energy needs. Among the available alternatives, gasoline generator is the only choice within the reach of almost all, due to the fact that, cost of purchase and installation is minimal compared to others like renewable energy sources; solar, wind, hydro, biogas, etc. Unfortunately, generator has been found to be very expensive (high operating and maintenance cost) and environmentally unfriendly. Generators make a lot of noise when running, they run on fossil fuels, and are polluting as well. From environmental stand point, gasoline genset exhaust harmful hydrocarbons into the atmosphere during their operation. The environmental impacts of fossil fuels often result in real costs to society, in terms of human health (e.g. loss of work days, health care costs), infrastructure decay (e.g. from acid rain), declines in forests and fisheries and, perhaps ultimately, the costs associated with climate change.

Moreover, current removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government of Nigeria increases the fuel price and this has drawn serious attention of using renewable energy sources in Nigeria. Since Nigerians largely depend on gasoline consumption for electricity supply, increase in fuel prices will have great impact to the society at large. Therefore, the use of renewable energy in Nigeria would be of great benefit, especially in reducing the dependence on such highly fluctuating gasoline price.

One of the most promising applications of renewable energy technology is the installation of hybrid energy systems, where the cost of grid extension is prohibitive and the price for fuel increases drastically with the remoteness of the location. Renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic (PV), wind energy, or small scale hydro, provide a realistic alternative to engine-driven generators for electricity generation (Bakirtzis & Gavanidou, 1992). It has been demonstrated that hybrid energy systems can significantly reduce the total life cycle cost of stand-alone power supplies in many situations, while at the same time providing a more reliable supply of electricity through the combination of energy sources (MacGill & Watt, 1994).

In various research papers (Elhadidy & Shaahid, 2000; Gutie´rrez, 1992; Wichert, 1997), it has been proven that renewable electrical systems in offgrid applications are economically viable. The energy output of a renewable system can be enough for the demands of a house placed in regions where the extension of the already available electricity grid would be financially unadvisable (Elhadidy & Shaahid, 2004; Bekele & Palm, 2010).

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