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Assessment of the Carbon and Cost Savings of a Combined Diesel Generator, Solar Photovoltaic, and Flywheel Energy Storage Islanded Grid System

Amiryar, M. E. & Pullen, K. R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8501-9226 (2019). Assessment of the Carbon and Cost Savings of a Combined Diesel Generator, Solar Photovoltaic, and Flywheel Energy Storage Islanded Grid System. Energies, 12(17), article number 3356. doi: 10.3390/en12173356


The use of diesel generators to provide power for islanded grids has been the technology of choice but they generate substantial carbon emissions unless the part or all the fuel comes from a renewable source. Notwithstanding this, the engine must be sized to meet maximum demand and will operate inefficiently at part load most of the time, which is particularly bad for a synchronous constant speed engine. Given the availability of low cost solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, it is very enticing to fit a diesel generator and allow the engine to be turned off during PV generation. However, this combination will not work without some form of energy storage since it takes time for the engine to start, leading to gaps in supply and instability of the system. Lithium-ion batteries are typically considered to be the best solution to this problem because they have a high response rate, costs are lower, and they are available as products. However, they will suffer from the limited cycle and calendar life due to high cycling requirements in the application described. It is, therefore, proposed that a flywheel system could offer a lower lifetime cost alternative since only short duration bridging power storage is needed and flywheels of appropriate design can offer lower power cost than Lithium-ion battery systems. Flywheels are particularly attractive since they have a very high calendar with almost an infinite cycle life and are fully recyclable at the end of life. This research, therefore, presents an assessment of the flywheel energy storage system (FESS) as an alternative to electrochemical batteries to supplement solar PV systems backed up by diesel generators. The model of an islanded PV system combined with a diesel generator and a FESS supplying power to a residential load is implemented in MATLAB/Simulink. The results of the analysis for the cases with and without storage based on a number of different charge-discharge strategies provide evidence to support this hypothesis.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Publisher Keywords: flywheel energy storage; solar photovoltaic system; backup diesel generator; dynamic model; standalone hybrid system
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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