Systematic approaches for synthesis, design and operation of biomass-based energy systems

Murugappan, Viknesh Andiappan (2016) Systematic approaches for synthesis, design and operation of biomass-based energy systems. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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A biomass-based energy system (BES) is a utility facility which produces cooling, heat and power simultaneously from biomass. By having a BES installed on-site, industrial processes can reduce energy costs by locally producing heat, cooling and power for process and work place requirements. However, several barriers have hindered development of BESs in the energy industry. These barriers include doubts over its operational uncertainties (e.g., seasonal biomass supply, equipment reliability, etc.), the misconception that generating energy from biomass is only a marginal business and the lack of successful cooperative partnerships within the industry. According to literature, such barriers are due to the lack of frameworks that address design aspects and demonstrate the economic viability of a BES.

This thesis presents systematic approaches and frameworks to design a BES. These approaches emphasise on integrating synthesis, design and operation decision making for a BES during its preliminary design phase. Firstly, a systematic approach is presented to synthesise a BES considering seasonal variations in biomass supply and energy demand. In this approach, a multi-period optimisation model is formulated to perform technology and design capacity selection by considering seasonal variations in biomass supply and energy demand profiles. This approach is then extended to systematically allocate equipment redundancy within the BES in order to maintain a reliable supply of energy. In this approach, k-out-of-m system modelling and the principles of chance-constrained programming are integrated in a multi-period optimisation model to simultaneously screen technologies based on their respective equipment reliability, capital and operating costs. The model also determines equipment capacities, along with the total number of operating (and stand-by) equipment based on various anticipated scenarios in a computationally efficient manner. Following this, a systematic approach is developed to simultaneously screen, size and allocate redundancy within a BES considering its operational strategies (e.g., following electrical load or following thermal load).

Subsequently, a systematic framework on Design Operability Analysis (DOA) is developed to analyse BES designs in instances of failure. This framework provides a stepwise procedure to evaluate proposed BES designs under scenarios of disruption and analyse their true feasible operating range. Knowledge of the feasible operating range enables designers to determine and validate if a BES design is capable of meeting its intended operations. Following this, a systematic Design Retrofit Analysis (DRA) framework is presented to debottleneck and retrofit existing BES designs in cases where energy demands are expected to vary in the future. The presented framework re-evaluates an existing BES design under disruption scenarios and determines its real-time feasible operating range. The real-time feasible operating range will allow designers to determine whether debottlenecking is required. If debottlenecking is required, the framework provides systematic debottlenecking and retrofit guidelines for BES designs. The design of a BES is then extended further to consider its interaction in an eco-industrial park (EIP). Since heat, cooling and power are essentially required in most industrial processes, a BES can be more economically attractive if synthesised for an EIP. As such, an optimisation-based negotiation framework is developed to analyse the potential cost savings allocation between participating plants in an EIP coalition. This framework combines the principles of rational allocation of benefits with the consideration of stability and robustness of an EIP coalition to changes in cost assumptions. Lastly, possible extensions and future opportunities for this research work are highlighted at the end of this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Ng, Denny Kok Sum
Foo, Dominic Chwan Yee
Keywords: biomass energy system, redundancy allocations, design retrofit analysis framework, renewable energy sources
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Engineering > Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Item ID: 33902
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 09:20
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 08:18

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