International Transactions on Electrical Energy Systems
School of Engineering
This study examines the optimal sizing of an off-grid hybrid system comprising solar photovoltaic (PV), rice husk-based biomass, and lead-acid battery for meeting the electric demand of a rural community. Considering a selected remote village in Bangladesh as a case study, the proposed optimized system is primarily compared with the diesel generator and the micro gas turbine (MGT)-based options in techno-economic and environmental terms. The potential social benefits, such as the employment creation and the improvement in the human development index in the locality, have been investigated in this study. Moreover, the impacts of operational greenhouse gas emissions on the human health damage and the surrounding ecosystem have been examined. Additionally, an exergy analysis of the hybrid system and the components has been carried out. Results indicate that in addition to being the environmentally preferable option, the proposed PV/biomass/battery system offers a lower cost of energy of 0.314 $/kWh compared to the MGT-based system (0.377 $/kWh). Although the diesel-based system offers a marginally better economy (9.55% less energy cost), it comes with the expense of probable damages to human health and the ecosystem worth of $15,211 and $6,608, respectively, making biomass the best option with no such damages. Exergy analysis reveals higher loss from PV than biomass and 13.09% system exergy efficiency. The assessment of the social indicators testifies to the potential of promoting the human development index from its current value and the formation of 1.41 jobs to as high as 15.15 full-time permanent jobs with the installation of hybrid systems in the community.
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