Optimal Sizing of a Microgrid System using HOMER Software: A Case Study for a University Campus
LADU, LADUNYAGONG SANTINO D.
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The rapid depletion of fossil fuels and the drive to reduce carbon emissions have resulted in a greater emphasis on renewable energy resources. The use of renewable energy resources benefits both the community and the economic growth of the country. Many African countries rely on fossil fuels, hence renewable energy resources must be implemented. This research focuses on the optimal sizing of a microgrid based on renewable energy sources, with simulation results considering various backup solutions such as battery systems and the grid, with both standalone and grid-connected modes of operation being studied. The most optimal solution was found to be a grid-connected hybrid microgrid (HBMG) system without batteries. Solar radiation and wind speed values were also varied in the sensitivity analysis. The sensitivity analysis revealed that as solar radiation and wind speed values approach maximum values, NPC declines, and vice versa. The Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) software created all of the configurations, simulations, and component selections. The average demand on the faculty scale is projected to be 165.29 kWh/day, with a peak load of 81.48 kW. The study was conducted to increase power system reliability, lowering emissions, and ensure economic sustainability through the integration of renewable energy technologies. Various technologies, such as solar PV, wind turbines, converters, batteries, and the grid, were investigated for system configuration with the lowest net present cost (NPC) and Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE). The average solar radiation and wind speed simulation results from the stand-alone with batteries, grid-connected with batteries, and grid-connected without batteries scenarios were analyzed. The only system with a 100% renewable fraction was the stand-alone with batteries as backup scenario, while the grid-connected with batteries scenario has the lowest renewable fraction capacity, with 77.2% renewable fraction for the grid connected without batteries scenario and 77.5% renewable penetration for the grid-connected with batteries. However, the results also showed that the grid-connected system without batteries scenario has the lowest NPC and LCOE, whereas the standalone system with batteries scenario has the highest NPC and LCOE. The results indicate that the grid-connected scenarios' LCOE and NPC are reduced by more than 80% and 70% for grid-connected without batteries scenario and grid-connected with batteries scenario respectively when compared to the standalone scenario's LCOE and NPC. The selected scenario's renewable penetration was found to be 87.3 %. The study is also in line with Algeria's efforts to promote the implementation of renewable energy technologies in its power sector.