Economics of renewable energy integration and energy storage via low load diesel application
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 17:50 authored by James HamiltonJames Hamilton, Michael NegnevitskyMichael Negnevitsky, Xiaolin WangXiaolin Wang
One-quarter of the world’s population lives without access to electricity. Unfortunately, the generation technology most commonly employed to advance rural electrification, diesel generation, carries considerable commercial and ecological risks. One approach used to address both the cost and pollution of diesel generation is renewable energy (RE) integration. However, to successfully integrate RE, both the stochastic nature of the RE resource and the operating characteristics of diesel generation require careful consideration. Typically, diesel generation is configured to run heavily loaded, achieving peak efficiencies within 70–80% of rated capacity. Diesel generation is also commonly sized to peak demand. These characteristics serve to constrain the possible RE penetration. While energy storage can relieve the constraint, this adds cost and complexity to the system. This paper identifies an alternative approach, redefining the low load capability of diesel generation. Low load diesel (LLD) allows a diesel engine to operate across its full capacity in support of improved RE utilization. LLD uses existing diesel assets, resulting in a reduced-cost, low-complexity substitute. This paper presents an economic analysis of LLD, with results compared to conventional energy storage applications. The results identify a novel pathway for consumers to transition from low to medium levels of RE penetration, without additional cost or system complexity.
Office of Naval Research
Department/SchoolSchool of Engineering
Place of publicationSwitzerland
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