Feasibility of alternatives to provide energy to a single family house in Lulea
Tutor / director / evaluatorKarlsson, Björn
Document typeMaster thesis (pre-Bologna period)
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
After enjoying one week in the Swedish Lapland, the idea of providing energy to one of those isolated cabins in the far landscape caught our attention. Nowadays, there still exist many dwellings, usually located in rural isolated sites, which have no easy access or even no possibility to get connected to the distribution and transport electricity grids. This situation may cause some inconvenience to the owners, therefore, the interest in finding new alternatives for supplying electricity. Such a problem requires specific solutions, including the development of electrification programs in those countryside isolated spots. Thus, the present project intends to perform a study which would provide the proper electric system to a summerhouse in the North of Sweden. Regarding the current European environmental politics and considering the rural location of the dwelling of study, the project will focus on various renewable alternatives to reach the above mentioned goal. In fact, Sweden has the greatest share of renewable energies in all European Union countries with a fixed goal of reaching 50% of its total energy production by renewable sources by the year 2020. For the present moment, Sweden already accounts for 9.4 GWh on solar energy production and 3.5 TWh on wind power production by the end of 2010. Therefore, the study will build on these alternatives as they represent two of the most extensively developed renewable possibilities in the country. Thereby, the first objective of the project was to determine a concrete location considering both our initial idea and the possibility of obtaining the wind speed and solar radiation data. A plot located 20 km to the north of Lulea was finally chosen. Then, once having the necessary baseline data comes the sizing of the different alternative: stand alone wind turbine system, stand alone PV system and a hybrid system combining wind power with the support of an electric generator. No option including grid connection is taken into consideration due to the lack of accessibility. Finally, it is performed an economic study of each alternative that would lead to a clear conclusion of which is the most appropriate choice in the study case. Economic criteria will therefore be the most significant factor when choosing the optimum alternative. However, environmental issues would also be taken into account. As no traditional electrification is studied, the economic analysis will not refer to the obtained monetary savings regarding to the grid connected option but will be performed by comparing initial investments. After all, it is concluded that the studied dwelling will be electrified by a hybrid system combining wind power with an electric generator. The system includes a 20 kW wind turbine and a diesel fueled generator with 8 kW power service. The generator will provide the required energy to the house during those days when the wind resource is not capable to cover the demand. Therefore, the lack of electricity supply will be avoided. Regarding investment costs of the chosen alternative, the hybrid system accounts for 20,729€ investment, which corresponds to about 40% the total price of both solar and wind stand alone systems. Considering environmental criteria, the hybrid system only requires 23 diesel liters to be burned during the six summer months. Therefore, emissions due to combustion are relatively low and not considered as damaging. So, the chosen alternative meets both economical and environmental requirements.
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