Technical and economic feasibility considerations of alternative energy distributed generation
Brahmandhabheri, Vishwanatha Raju.
AdvisorSchulz, Noel N.
The pressing needs for cost effective electric power that provides both high reliability and high quality is creating an opportunity for alternative energy distributed generation (DG). To determine the economic and technical feasibility of such alternative energy distributed generation facilities, electric power customers must understand their electric usage patterns, economic considerations, local alternative fuel supplies and available DG technologies. This thesis discusses the economic and technical feasibility of establishing a distributed generation installation. As a part of technical feasibility, an evaluation has been done to compare DG size and location impact on the operation of the IEEE 13 node test distribution systems. This evaluation was carried out by performing the distribution power flow that provides the information about voltage profile, losses in the system and feeder power factor. This information was used to determine the optimal location of DG in the test distribution system. Additionally, this part focuses on the importance of power utilization assessment in distributed generation planning. It also discussed the load utilization assessment that focus on step-by-step analysis of load profiles of different facilities such as Choctaw Laundromat, Choctaw Geyser Falls (water park) and Golden Moon Casino. The second part of this thesis?s work resulted in an informative and useful economic analysis tool, DG-ECON with which the user can document the study results and analyze them for economic feasibility with minimal effort. The economic feasibility of a biomass-based renewable energy installation is clearly shown by developing a user interface spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet calculates project-screening information in the form of a 20-year life cycle cost analysis. This cost analysis that enables users to define projects that are most energy efficient and offer the greatest financial benefit. The emphasis is on the user interface features of the application to make the application as user friendly as possible. The application has both numerical and graphical data representation using some of the features of Microsoft Visual Basic.