The council for the town of Scone (Upper Hunter Shire Council) has engaged the consultancy engineering company you are employed at (UoN Engineering) to identify the optimal energy mix to power consumer loads within their region. Your engineering team is required to write a technical report that addresses three main points:
1. Identify energy sources in the region that can be exploited to meet the energy requirements of consumer loads;
2. Select the energy sources, and energy storage technologies, which optimise the system;
3. In determining the optimality of your solution, consider and quantify (to the best extent possible) the environmental, cultural, nancial and ethical impacts of your design.
2 Background Information
The following background information will help in nding the optimal energy mix for the town.
The council has speci ed that the energy mix can be made up of the following energy sources/storage technologies:
Fossil fuel red generators
Solar PV or thermal solar
Pumped hydro storage
The council has only recently been elected and has asked you to keep in mind that they promised during the previous election campaign that at least 50% of electric power would be generated from renewable sources in the newly designed power grid.
The residents who own and farm land in and around Scone, and who are often a powerful political force in Upper Hunter Shire Council elections, are often highly aware of and concerned with any environmental impacts a ecting the region.
The tax payers of Scone generally expect council infrastructure projects to provide a high quality service at a low nancial cost.
The citizens of Scone typically have high expectations for the reliability of the energy supplied to their places of business and their households. Power outages will result in:
Lost economic output;
Increasing political pressure on the council.
There exists a grid connection, over which large amounts of energy can be exchanged, between Scone and Muswellbrook. The nancial cost of importing energy from Muswellbrook, and the sale price for exporting energy to Muswellbrook, is determined in real time by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). If your design utilises this grid connection, past energy price charts are available online from AEMO for you to consider in your design. Assume the grid connection has an energy mix of 80% coal red power station, 10% hydro-electric power and 10% solar PV.
The overall electricity consumption (44GWh per year) is assumed split into four elements, each with their own load pro le and social/political/economic penalties associated with outages.
Non-critical commercial (20%)
Critical commercial (10%)
Any available sites in the region in which a hydroelectric dam / pumped hydro storage could be located happen to be situated on indigenous land.
When designing a solution, the following issues should be at least considered in your report:
The nancial cost of your solution, including purchasing costs, maintenance costs and salvage costs/pro ts.
The reliability of your solution i.e. is there any unmet load at any time during the year, if so how much and which loads does it a ect?
The environmental cost of your solution, including the impact on climate change.
The amount of land required for your solution.
The appropriateness of your solution to the social, political and cultural environment in the town of Scone.
The simulation package Homer Pro can be utilised to investigate the following:
The instantaneous match / mismatch between load and generation in the system on a hour-to-hour basis;
A nancial cost comparison of alternate energy mixes;
Total carbon dioxide, unburnt hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide outputs … of alternate energy mixes.
3.2 Report length
The report should be no longer than 20 pages long and have no more than 5,000 words.
Only one report is to be submitted per group. There is a brief oral presentation with your tutors before you submit. The oral presentation is simply to explain in what each group member has contributed/will contribute to the project and their understanding of their contribution. This will be done in week 13 tutorial session time. Due to the covid restrictions, this will be done in breakout rooms through Zoom.
It should be a ‘proper’ engineering report just as in Assignment 2. I need you to have these features:
Title page which includes the authors names, student numbers, and date.
The percentage contribution of the authors to the report and the parts of the report that they have contributed to, should be included on the title page.
An executive summary/abstract this should be only a couple of paragraphs ideally and certainly no longer than 1 page. The executive summary should be a concise summary of what you have done and why.
An introduction which sets the framework/context of the work.
Some sections which contain your work. These will display your results and importantly your analysis of these results.
Appendices as required for Matlab code etc.
You must cite references for all things that are not widely known. You don’t need to cite F = ma but you should cite the source of something like solar irradiance data or load patterns. I don’t mind which referencing scheme you use but you must be consistent.
You must use relative referencing. I.e. don’t say ‘the table below’. Say instead Table 1.
Column A Column B Column C
1 2 3
4 5 6
Table 1: Table of Numbers
The Homer Pro software contains built in models that predict the amount of energy output from solar PV and hydro turbines based on relevant resource input data. However, the council has provided encouragement for UoN engineering to deliver a working custom model for an energy source used in the energy mix. The custom model should be written in Matlab, and interface with Homer Pro. This is not a strict requirement of the project but would be highly regarded.
5 Helpful Tips
1. By modifying when energy sources and storage technologies are producing / storing energy, with respect to the price of electricity, irradiance and wind speed at that time etc, an optimal dispatch strategy can be formulated. The nancial and environmental cost can often be signi cantly improved if the dispatch strategy of the energy mix is considered. Homer Pro facilitates xed and customisable dispatch strategies.
2. Many of the criteria for the project are not able to be assessed by Homer Pro. Some of these include:
(a) Cultural e ects.
(b) Visual pollution.
(c) Construction e ects.
(d) The environmental e ects of manufacture and disposal of components.
(e) Repatriation of the land at the end of project lifetime end.
These criteria should be considered using the other tools that you have been exposed to during the course. These obviously include life cycle analysis (LCA) and multicriteria decision analysis.
3. Assume that the project lifetime is 50 years. Given that, you will need to make sensible assumptions regarding replacement costs. For example it’s predicted that the cost of battery storage will reduce by about 60% over the next 10 years with similar falls in solar PV. So if you assume that the replacement costs will be xed that could well get a poor estimate of the costs generation.
Of course predictions are error prone. It’s always good to provide some level of con dence normally via references. Sensitivity analysis should be considered.
4. The page and word limits are maxima. Good report writing is concise. You will be rewarded for well written concise reports. You will be penalised for poorly written verbose reports.
6 Marking Rubric
The marking rubric is shown in Tables 2 and 3.