Decision support for new and renewable energy systems deployment
The global requirement for sustainable energy provision will become increasingly important over the next fifty years as the environmental effects of fossil fuel use become apparent. Therefore, the issues surrounding integration of renewable energy supplies need to be considered carefully. The focus of this work was the development of a decision support framework that will aid the design of sustainable energy systems for the supply of electricity, heat, hot water and fuel for transportation. Issues requiring consideration in high percentage renewable energy systems include the reliability of the supply when intermittent sources of electricity are being used, and the subsequent necessity for storage and back-up generation. In order to allow the modelling of realistic integrated systems that supply the total energy needs of an area, the production of fuels derived from biomass and waste and their use in a variety of different plant types (e. g. vehicles, engines, turbines, fuel cells, electrolysers, heating and hot water storage systems) is an important consideration. The temporal nature of both intermittent electricity and derived fuel supplies must be taken into account in any analysis. Existing demand and supply matching software has been enhanced to allow the full analysis described. Generic algorithms have been developed to allow the behaviour of a comprehensive list of plant types and methods for producing derived fuels to be modelled, which require only available process and manufacturers' data. The program is flexible, generic and easy to use, allowing a variety of supply strategies to be analysed. This has been shown through the study of a small Scottish island, which highlights the importance of derived fuel production and use. This work has succeeded in developing a more complete tool for analysing the feasibility of integrated renewable energy systems. This will allow informed decisions to be made about the technical feasibility of supply mix and control strategies, plant type and sizing, suitable fuel production, and fuel and energy storage sizing, for any given area and range of supply options.