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Title: Energy Self-sustainability in Egyptian Small Scale Waste Water Treatment Plants

Article Type: Original research paper

Section/Category: 4. Clean Energy and Sustainability

Keywords: CHP;
Hybrid renewable;
WWTP;
off-grid;
Sensitivity;
capital cost;
conventional;
emissions

Corresponding Author: Dr. Walid A. M. Ghoneim, Ph.D.

Corresponding Author's Institution: Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport

First Author: Walid A. M. Ghoneim, Ph.D.

Order of Authors: Walid A. M. Ghoneim, Ph.D.; Ahmed Halaby, M.Sc.; Ahmed A Helal, Ph.D.

Abstract: The paper presents the sensitivity analysis for the utilization of renewable energy sources in
small-scale wastewater treatment field and the related comparative studies versus conventional power
sources. The research is based on a pilot wastewater treatment plant to be powered with entirely off-
grid renewable hybrid system with minimum life-cycle cost and minimum possible emissions. The
hybrid power system optimum configuration consists of fuel cell, micro-turbine, wind turbine and
photovoltaic systems. The sensitivity analysis introduced here aims at identifying the system effective
variables in the case-study to derive general rules which can be used for other wastewater treatment
plants countrywide. Through using HOMER software, the sensitivity analysis studies the effect of
renewable energy potentials and the capital cost of the power subsystems. Besides, the paper
measures the feasibility strength of the base hybrid system by holding comparisons with conventional
power systems. The comparative studies determine the breakpoints and feasibility zones which grant
the preference of the hybrid system.

Suggested Reviewers: Mohamed El-Sobki


sobki54@hotmail.com

Radwan Abdel- Hamid


radwanha@helwan.edu.eg

Ibrahim Elmohr
ielmohry@yahoo.com
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Highlights (for review)

Highlights

- Lifecycle cost is very sensitive to the produced volume of digester gas.

- CHP proves highly effective than PV and WTS even if its capital cost is much higher.

- The presented hybrid system is very competitive with grid-extension case.

- The presented hybrid system is superior versus diesel generator with real fuel prices.

- Emissions released from the system represent only 17% of grid emissions.
Cover letter
Click here to view linked References

1
2
3 Walid A. M. Ghoneim (First and Corresponding Author)
4 Borg A Abrag Masr leltameer
5
In front of El Montaza Train Station
6
7 El Montaza Alexandria Egypt
8 Email: walidghoneim1970@yahoo.co.uk
9 Tel.: +201001543356
10
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12
May 7, 2014
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15 Editor-in-Chief
16 Energy Conversion and Management Journal
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19
Dear Editor-in-Chief:
20
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22 According to the world data bank, the electrical energy consumption in Egypt has
23 increased from 95,308 GWh in year 2005 to 138,374 GWh in 2011, and nowadays, there
24 is an energy crisis. One of the largest consumers of energy is Wastewater Treatment
25 Plants as an energy intensive process. Till 2008, there were 303 wastewater treatment
26
27 plants (WWTPs) with a total treated water capacity of 11,853,000 m3 d-1.
28
29 In an arid country such as Egypt, where water is scarce in general, wastewater reuse
30 should be encouraged and promoted whenever, especially in terms of public health; it is
31 safe and economically feasible. However, the expansion of water treatment facilities will
32
33
demand parallel expansion in conventional power plants which is another economical
34 challenge and a long-term solution unless other techniques are used like the installation
35 of renewable energy-based systems. Using entirely renewable standalone power system
36 remains unfeasible in many applications because of the intermittent nature of RES, which
37 results a significant capital cost.
38
39
40 The work presented in this paper is extracted from a M.Sc. thesis by Eng. A. Halaby, who
41 is a project engineer for Waste Water Treatment Plants, and supervised by Prof.A. Helal
42 and myself. In this thesis, the data of a WWTP in Toukh, Egypt was taken as case-study
43 for a typical rural small-scale plant. The feasibility of supplying the plant with entirely
44
45
renewable energy-based standalone hybrid system with minimum amount of emissions
46 released was studied. The high biodegradability of rural wastewater yielded a relatively
47 high biogas production when anaerobic digestion is used. The study used solid oxide fuel
48 cell-microturbine hybrid (SOFC-MT), photovoltaic (PV) system and wind turbine system
49 (WTS) combined to supply the plant independently without the need for any
50
51 conventional power source.
52
53 This paper presents the study of running the sensitivity analysis to measure the effect
54 of system variables on NPC cost which is considered the primary indicator for system
55 feasibility and hence, expands the feasibility study to cover different conditions.
56
57 Finally, the paper compares the base system with the cases of using grid-extension or
58 diesel generator. The comparison results show the breakeven distance between the plant
59 and nearest grid point and critical diesel fuel price at which the hybrid system, in both
60 cases, becomes more feasible. Beside the feasibility, the research evaluates the
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1 Editor-in-Chief Journal of Energy Conservation and Managment
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7 emissions produced by each system to measure how far the hybrid system is
8 environmentally advantageous.
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Implementing the scope of this work in small-scale WWTP will lead to a saving of up to
12 8% of the energy produced nationwide and can minimize the gap between electricity
13 consumption and generation.
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Awaiting your feedback
18
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20 Sincerely,
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25 Walid Ghoneim, Ph.D
26 Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Control,
27
28 Faculty of Engineering and Technology,
29 Arab Academy for Science and Technology,
30 Alexandria,
31 Egypt.
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*Complete Manuscript including All Figs & Tables
Click here to view linked References

1 Energy Self-sustainability in Egyptian Small Scale Waste Water

2 Treatment Plants

3 W. A. M. Ghoneim, A. Halaby, A. A. A. Helal

4 First Author / Corresponding Author:

5 W. A. M. Ghoneim, Ph.D.

6 Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Control, Faculty of Engineering and

7 Technology, Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Egypt.

8 Email: walidghoneim1970@yahoo.co.uk

9 Phone: +201001543356

10 Second Author:

11 A. Halabi, M.Sc.

12 Projects Engineer Waste Water Treatment Plants

13 Horse Engineering Works Alex.

14 Third Author:

15 A. A. A. Helal, Ph.D.

16 Professor, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Control, Faculty of Engineering and Technology,

17 Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Egypt.


18 ABSTRACT

19 The paper presents the sensitivity analysis for the utilization of renewable energy sources in

20 small-scale wastewater treatment field and the related comparative studies versus

21 conventional power sources. The research is based on a pilot wastewater treatment plant to

22 be powered with entirely off-grid renewable hybrid system with minimum life-cycle cost and

23 minimum possible emissions. The hybrid power system optimum configuration consists of

24 fuel cell, micro-turbine, wind turbine and photovoltaic systems. The sensitivity analysis

25 introduced here aims at identifying the system effective variables in the case-study to derive

26 general rules which can be used for other wastewater treatment plants countrywide. Through

27 using HOMER software, the sensitivity analysis studies the effect of renewable energy

28 potentials and the capital cost of the power subsystems. Besides, the paper measures the

29 feasibility strength of the base hybrid system by holding comparisons with conventional

30 power systems. The comparative studies determine the breakpoints and feasibility zones

31 which grant the preference of the hybrid system.

32

33 Keywords:

34 CHP; Hybrid renewable; WWTP; off-grid; Sensitivity; capital cost; conventional; emissions

35

36 1. Introduction
37 One of the important utilization of renewable energy sources (RES) is to electrify either

38 remote villages in rural areas located so far from power stations and distribution networks or

39 villages located in rugged terrains where utility lines are uneconomical to install (Kalantar and

40 Mousavi,2010; Erdinc and Uzunoglu, 2012). Combining renewable energy to form standalone

41 hybrid systems is an interesting solution for the electricity supply in these regions (C. Ziogou

42 et al., 2011). Renewable energy sources and their energy conversion devices also offer a

43 solution for greenhouse gas emissions and atmosphere temperature (Ayres et al., 2007;

44 Sanseverino et al., 2011). However, the primary advantage of RES is closing the gap between

45 electricity consumption & generation. The continuous fast growth of electrical demands is

46 hardly met by the conventional power sources. This is because fossil fuels used by these

47 power sources are rapidly depleting which doubles the problem in the near future and

48 boundlessly increase fuel prices (Ball et al., 2007; Rehman et al., 2007; Del Real et al., 2009).

49 According to the world data bank, the electrical energy consumption in Egypt has increased

50 from 95,308 GWh in year 2005 to 138,374 GWh in 2011. One of the largest consumers of

51 energy are Wastewater treatment plants as water treatment is an energy intensive process

52 (Tassou , 1988; WEF, 1997). Till 2008, there were 303 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs)

53 with a total treated water capacity of 11,853,000 m3 d-1 (Ghazy et al., 2009).

54 In an arid country such as Egypt, where water is scarce in general, wastewater reuse should

55 be encouraged and promoted whenever, especially in terms of public health; it is safe and

56 economically feasible (El Gamal et al., 2005). However, the expansion of water treatment

57 facilities will demand parallel expansion in conventional power plants unless other techniques

58 are used like the installation of renewable energy-based systems. A major drawback in this
59 technique is the vulnerability to unpredictable climatic changes (Zahedi, 1996). For this

60 reason, renewable energy systems, despite being efficient solution for providing a sustainable

61 power supply, are commonly used as subsystems beside a conventional power source in the

62 hybrid system (Lazarov , 2005; Shaahid and Elhadidy, 2007; Kornelakis , 2010). Using entirely

63 renewable standalone power system remains unfeasible in many applications because of the

64 intermittent nature of RES, which results a significant capital cost (Korpaas , 2003). A former

65 work, introduced in (Helal et al., 2013) used the data of a WWTP in Toukh, Egypt as a case-

66 study for a typical rural small-scale plant. The scope was studying the feasibility of supplying

67 the plant with entirely renewable energy-based standalone hybrid system with minimum

68 amount of emissions released. The high biodegradability of rural wastewater yielded a

69 relatively high biogas production when anaerobic digestion is used. The study used solid oxide

70 fuel cell-microturbine hybrid (SOFC-MT), photovoltaic (PV) system and wind turbine system

71 (WTS) combined to supply the plant independently without the need for any conventional

72 power source. HOMER software was used to model RES potential, energy conversion devices,

73 electrical load and energy storage system (Battery bank) and determine the optimum size of

74 each subsystem which grants lowest lifecycle cost or net present cost (NPC). This paper

75 continues the study with running the sensitivity analysis to measure the effect of system

76 variables on NPC cost which is considered the primary indicator for system feasibility and

77 hence, expands the feasibility study to cover different conditions. Finally, the paper compares

78 the base system with the cases of using grid-extension or diesel generator. The comparison

79 results show the breakeven distance between the plant and nearest grid point and critical

80 diesel fuel price at which the hybrid system, in both cases, becomes more feasible. Beside the
81 feasibility, the research evaluates the emissions produced by each system to measure how far

82 the hybrid system is environmentally advantageous

83

84 2. System Modeling

85 According to the plant data, the daily energy consumption is 4,815 kWh d-1.The energy

86 resources modeled in the software included the digester gas volume, solar radiation and wind

87 speed. The operating point of anaerobic digester gas (ADG) volume, evaluated from energy

88 recovery calculations of the plant, is 44.6 m3 d-1. The daily average radiation of the site per

89 unit area of horizontal surface and wind speed are 5.52 kWh m2 d-1 and 4.75 m s-1 respectively

90 (Helal et al., 2013). As for modeling the combined-heat-power (CHP) system, there are no

91 direct models for SOFC or MT in HOMER. However, the program allows modeling any fuel-fed

92 power source through entering the fuel curve to a general-purpose model called (Generator).

93 The fuel curve of a power source expresses the relation between the fuel consumption and

94 output power. After entering the fuel curve data, HOMER evaluates the efficiency curve which

95 expresses the relation between the generator output and efficiency. Figure 1 shows the part-

96 load efficiency curve of the CHP micro-turbine, modeled by HOMER, after entering the fuel

97 curve data. Helal et al. (2013) justified the possibility of modeling SOFC-MT hybrid model

98 through modeling SOFC and MT individually at ADG production operating point.


Efficie ncy Curve
70

60

50

Efficiency
40

30

20

10

0
0 20 40 60 80 100
Output (%)
99 El ectri cal T hermal T otal

100 Figure 1. Efficiency curve of CHP MT modeled by HOMER.

101 The study of the lifetime, capital, operating & maintenance (O&M) costs of SOFC and MT was

102 covered in general by (George and Bessette, 1998; Spiegel et al, 1999; Goldstein et al., 2003;

103 Breeze, 2005; Ameri and Heidari, 2006; Soares, 2007; EPA, 2008; Wiser et al., 2010; Becker et

104 al., 2012). Helal et al. (2013) concluded that the total installed costs, O&M costs, lifetime for

105 SOFC & MT used in the model are 4,000$ kW-1 , 2500$ kW-1 , 0.025$ kWh-1 , 0.015$ kWh-1 ,

106 60000 hours and 50000 hours respectively. Modeling WTS, PV system and battery banks

107 meant to enter commercial models technical data in parallel with their market prices to

108 ensure accurate input data in HOMER. Literature reviews for their general prices in the market

109 are found in (Masters, 2004; Breeze, 2005; Tidball, 2010; Al-Badi et al., 2011).

110 3. Optimum System Data

111 Helal et al. (2013) considered the study of all possible connection topologies including DC-DC,

112 DC-AC, AC-DC, AC-AC for PV and WTS respectively. The optimization results were detailed in

113 (Helal et al., 2013), table 2. The study showed that the best connection topology is to couple

114 both PV & WTS systems to the DC bus as shown in figure 2 (scenario DC-DC). The Optimum
115 system is introduced by through using all energy conversion devices without elimination,

116 resulting NPC of 3,682,842$. The optimum system data (which represent the reference case

117 for sensitivity analysis) is detailed here in table1. The data includes the renewable energy

118 potentials, capital cost of basic subsystems and total NPC cost.

119

120

121 Figure 2. Optimum System Configuration in HOMER

122

123

124

125

126

127
128 Table 1. Optimum system Data

Subsystems PV WTS SOFC MT Battery Converter

Bank

RES Potential Solar Wind speed ADG --- --- ---

Radiation Volume

RES Value 5.52 kWh m- 4.75 m s-1 44.6 m3 --- --- ---
2 -1
d

Size 100 kW 2(no.) x 100 140 kW 26 kW 720 (no.) 80 kW

kW

Generation share 11% 20% 61% 9% --- ---

(avg.)

Capital Cost ($) 386,600 553,950 560,000 65,000 336,240 54,560

System NPC Cost 3,682,842$

129

130

131

132
133 4. Sensitivity and Comparative studies

134 4.1 Sensitivity Study

135 Sensitivity study helps assess the effects of uncertainty or changes in the variables over which

136 the designer has no control, such as the average wind speed or the future fuel price. HOMER

137 performs multiple optimizations, each using a different set of input assumptions (Farret and

138 Simoes , 2006). Sensitivity study here is used to identify the effective variables of the system

139 and to deduce general rules-of-thumb which can be applied under different conditions. This is

140 done through three cases; the first case studies the effect of each individual energy resource

141 potential on the system NPC. The second case studies the effect of varying all the resources

142 on optimal system type. The optimal system type or category expresses the optimum case of

143 each possible combination of the hybrid subsystems. In the first and second cases, the

144 sensitivity analysis is performed for set of values of the variables including solar radiation,

145 wind speed and digester gas volume. The third case deals with uncertainty of changing the

146 subsystems capital cost on the total NPC and choice of optimum units size. The variables in

147 the third case include the capital cost of PV, WTS and CHP systems.

148 4.2 Comparative Studies

149 In order to show how far the hybrid renewable energy micro-power system is from feasibility,

150 the presented case-study is compared with other conventional power systems. The

151 Comparisons show the conditions and the threshold points at which the system becomes

152 more feasible than the conventional cases. The first conventional solution for an off-grid

153 WWTP is to extend the grid by erecting transmission systems. However, the cost of grid-
154 extension is a function of distance. If the distance between the WWTP and nearest grid point

155 is far, the grid extension will be high and probably not feasible. To deal with uncertainty in

156 grid-extension case, total NPC is evaluated through different terrains topography on which

157 transmission lines are erected. Capital costs of $8k km-1, $12k km-1 and $22 k km -1
are

158 adapted for plain, normal and rugged terrains respectively with O&M cost of $180 km -1

159 (Canada et al., 2005; Girona , 2008). The price of electricity used in calculations is the

160 subsidized Egyptian tariff; that is 0.25EGP (0.0417$). The results determine the breakeven

161 distance at which the total NPC of the hybrid system equals the total NPC in grid extension

162 case.

163

164 According to Arab Electricity magazine, issue 109, July-September 2012, electricity consumption for subscribers

165 up to 500kW.

166 The second conventional solution is the diesel generator, which is used as primary power

167 system for plants in off-grid areas. Although It has low capital cost, its O&M costs are

168 relatively high (ESMAP , 2001; SELF, 2012). Necessary data are obtained for modeling a new

169 case of powering the plant loads with 280 kW diesel generator systems in HOMER. The fuel

170 cost used in simulation is 1.2 EGP (about 0.2$ according to 2013 currency exchange), which

171 resembles the subsidized diesel fuel price in Egypt. As fuel price is subjected to rise, the diesel

172 fuel price is dealt as a sensitivity variable to determine the critical price which causes the total

173 NPC of diesel generator system equals the total NPC of the hybrid system. Besides, emissions

174 in every case are assessed to measure the strength of the hybrid system from the

175 environmental perspective. Using ADG as a fuel for plant services replaces the consumption of
176 fossil fuels. While the production of CO2 from those fuels is avoided, the CO2 produced from

177 burning ADG is a part of closed carbon cycles and does not contribute to increasing

178 atmospheric CO2 levels (Wilkie , 2005). The evaluation of emissions considers calculating the

179 equivalent CO2 (CO2E) in three cases. The cases include (i) Using electrical grid with

180 supplementary natural gas-fueled boiler for the plant electrical and thermal loads

181 respectively. (ii) Using diesel generator with supplementary natural gas-fueled boiler (iii)

182 consideration of ADG and using the introduced hybrid system. Definition of equivalent CO2

183 emissions is found in (Filho, 2010). No gas collection system is assumed in cases (i), (ii) and

184 ADG is flared before release in atmosphere. The assessment in case (i) assumes a natural gas-

185 fueled steam turbine power plant for the electrical grid with 30% efficiency. The boiler in

186 cases (i) and (ii) is assumed to have 80% burner efficiency. Evaluation of CO2E in case (i) results

187 from the sum of three contributors; the emissions released from the power plant to supply

188 the plant electrically, the emissions released from the boilers to supply the thermal loads and

189 finally, the emissions released from flaring ADG into the atmosphere. The third contributor,

190 despite being counted as emissions released from the plant, doesnt count as global warming

191 contributor as mentioned earlier. Evaluation of CO2E in case (ii) is similar to case (i) except the

192 first contributor which counts the emissions released from burning diesel fuel instead of

193 natural gas. In case (iii), both PV & WTS produce zero emissions being clean power sources.

194 CHP system uses ADG as a renewable fuel. SOFC produces minimal emissions from its

195 reformer. Fuel combustion doesnt take place in MT as it receives the SOFC exhaust as input.

196 In other words, the emissions produced from the hybrid system in case (iii) are confined to the

197 emissions produced from SOFC. Necessary data and equations adapted in calculations like
198 CO2E of natural gas, digester gas flaring and diesel are found in (Zabihian and Fung, 2008;

199 GGTC, 2004; RTI, 2010; CAPP, 2003; WA DOE, 2008).

200 5. Results and Discussion

201 5.1. Sensitivity Analysis results

202 5.1.1 Effect of renewable resources on total NPC

203 The results of the first sensitivity case, which deals with changing each individual resource

204 potential, are shown in figure 3. In case of changing the solar radiation, the total NPC is almost

205 constant as the increased solar radiation offers just limited increase in kWh production from

206 PV system. In case of varying the wind speed, the curve basically follows the wind turbine

207 power curve. At very low wind speeds, the NPC rate of reduction is low because the wind

208 speed is frequently lower than the turbine cut-in speed. As a result, periods with zero wind-

209 turbines-output over the year are frequent offering small change in WTS power production

210 and hence total NPC. The slope increases for wind speeds round and above the cut-in speed

211 because the wind turbine works in the linear region of its power curve. In this region, the

212 turbine power output is directly proportional to the cube of wind speed. When wind speeds

213 get higher, the turbine approaches its rated output power region of the curve. Thus, the rate

214 of power production and the total NPC rate of reduction decrease again.

215
216

217 Figure 3. Effect of varying RES on system NPC

218 The change in ADG production has the strongest effect on the system NPC. The NPC

219 dramatically decreases when CHP input flow increases from 41.3 to 44.6 m hr-1 because the

220 output thermal power from the fuel cell became high enough to better drive the micro-

221 turbine and use the SOFC-MT hybrid model. Further increase in FC power would allow

222 installation of higher MT capacity once the FC output thermal energy is high enough. The total

223 NPC increases at 70m hr-1 due to the fact that the obtained CHP system operating at this

224 point becomes oversized.

225 5.1.2 Effect of renewable resources on optimal system type

226 Running sensitivity analysis on three energy resources together gives a three dimension plot.

227 Two sectional planes are studied at two fixed points of ADG production yielding two

228 dimensions (surface) plot per section. This is indicated in figure 4 and figure 5, which view the

229 effect of the resources variables on optimal system type at the operating (44.6 m3 d-1) and
230 maximum theoretical (59.5 m3 d-1) points of ADG production evaluated earlier in (Helal et al.,

231 2013).

232

233 Figure 4. The optimal system type at 44.6m hr-1 ADG utilization

234 Figure 4 clears that using WTS is infeasible if average wind speed is less than 3m s-1. Above

235 this speed, noticeable reduction in batteries number takes place as WTS joins the optimum

236 configuration. At the maximum theoritical ADG production as shown in figure 5, the number

237 of batteries are reduced greatly compared to figure 4. Also, the feasibility of WTS withdraws

238 to start from 4 m s-1 wind speed.This reflects the effectiveness of using ADG and the

239 importance of maximizing its production. A way to maximize ADG production is (FOG) method

240 which includes adding food, oil and grease to the digester (EPA CHPP, 2011; Kulkarni, 2009).

241
242

243 Figure 5. The optimal system type at 100% ADG utilization

244 5.1.3 Effect of Capital costs variation on NPC

245 The capital cost, including the installation of energy conversion devices, is subjected to

246 decrease due to market competition or increase due to difficult environment for installation.

247 An example of the uncertainty results are indicated in figure 6, which shows the surface plot

248 of the percentage reduction of the overall system's NPC when varying the CHP and WTS

249 capital costs. The base system cuts zero-plan at the base case (representing 0% NPC

250 reduction).
251

252 Figure 6. The effect of CHP & WTS capital cost variation on the total NPC

253

254 The variation of the WTS capital cost regardless of the CHP cost causes a 14% average range of

255 reduction of the total NPC. This is indicated from averaging the difference between the

256 extreme points of each horizontal gridline of the surface. As for the CHP, the average

257 percentage reduction range is 36% regardless of the WTS capital cost (indicated from

258 averaging the difference between the extreme points of each the vertical gridlines of the

259 surface).

260 Similar results were denoted at 50% and 150% PV system capital cost with system NPC

261 reduction range of 13% and 15% for WTS system, 39% and 34% for CHP respectively. PV

262 system causes reduction range of 16% when putting it on an axis (Figure 7).
263

264 Figure 7. The effect of PV & WTS capital cost variation on the total NPC

265 These results emphasis the high sensitivity of total NPC towards CHP capital cost and that any

266 change in CHP capital cost affects the total NPC greatly. This may reflect that the full use of

267 ADG and the relevant CHP could be unlikely if their cost is high. However, figure 8 denies this

268 fact; the figure sets a cost comparison between the capital cost of the DC subsystem

269 (including PV, WTS and battery banks) and AC subsystem which includes CHP system. The Z-

270 axis gives the size of each energy conversion device as an output. The CHP system shows solid

271 feasibility as the optimum system in every point comprises the maximum capacity of CHP

272 system even if its capital cost is increased to 160% versus 25% of DC subsystem base-case

273 capital cost. This result implies that the maximum available capacity of CHP system must be

274 considered as it has the advantage of being a sustainable power source.


275 More than 56% of WWTPs in Egypt are small-scale which have capacities up to 15,000 m3 d-1

276 and there are more than 97 activated sludge type WWTPS in Egypt; having a total treated

277 water capacity of 6,703,000 m3 d-1 (Ghazy et al., 2009). Assuming the average energy

278 consumption for those plants as 0.528 kWh/m3 (WEF, 2009), the use of the entirely renewable

279 hybrid system can save 1,292.4 GWh/year which is equivalent to 0.9% of the total electrical

280 energy consumption in Egypt.

281

282 Figure 8. Effect of changing components capital cost on optimum units size

283 5.2. Comparative Studies results

284 In case of comparing the proposed hybrid system with grid extension, the hybrid system NPC

285 keeps constant value versus distance. The results in figure 9 show that the breakeven

286 distances, at which the hybrid system NPC equals the grid-extension costs, are 263, 190 and
287 112km for plain, normal and rugged terrains respectively. Above these distances, the hybrid

288 system gets more feasible than the grid-extension option. Without tariff subsidizing, the

289 hybrid system becomes more feasible than using the grid solution even in grid-connected

290 areas. In case of using the diesel generator, figure 10 which shows the diesel generator

291 solution yearly cash flow indicates that the system NPC is more feasible but it is highly

292 sensitive towards fuel cost. As figure 11 states, the critical fuel price which initiates the hybrid

293 system feasibility is 3.3 EGP (0.55$). As a matter of fact, the unsubsidized diesel fuel price is

294 higher than this critical value. The comparison didnt consider the cost of diesel fuel

295 transportation which would increase the feasibility of the hybrid system if counted.

296

297

298 Figure 9. Breakeven distances with grid extension


299

300 Figure 10. Annual Cash flow Diesel Generator Plant

301

302 Figure 11. Diesel fuel critical price

303 Figure 12 summarizes the emissions assessments in the cases considered in section 4.2. In

304 case (i), the emissions released due to the use of grid, boiler - for electrical and thermal loads
305 - and flaring ADG equal 1,990 ton CO2E per year. Emissions released in diesel generator case

306 are 2,140 ton CO2E per year. The hybrid system reduces the emissions by 83% as it releases

307 only 330 ton CO2E yr-1 without contributing in global warming.

308

309 Figure 12. The emission assessment (RES Hybrid system VS conventional power systems)

310 6. Conclusion

311 The paper presented the sensitivity analysis for a standalone micro-power system serving a

312 wastewater treatment plant and its related comparative studies with conventional power

313 systems. The system is supplied by energy sources which are entirely renewable. The paper

314 uses the data of Toukh WWTP as a case study. The obtained optimum hybrid system included

315 a 140kW CHP fuel cell, a 26 kW CHP micro-turbine, a 200kW wind turbine system, a 100kW PV

316 system, 720 batteries and an 80kW converter to drive the plant as a standalone system.

317 Sensitivity analysis showed that the system is least sensitive to the solar radiation; relatively

318 sensitive to wind speed and highly sensitive to ADG volume. Maximizing the ADG production
319 is a key factor to minimize the system NPC. Investment in the CHP system is essential even if

320 its capital cost is much higher than other subsystems. Comparative studies gave the

321 advantage of the hybrid system feasibility within few hundreds of kilometers between the

322 plant and nearest grid point and when the diesel generator fuel price exceeds 0.55$ l -1. The

323 hybrid system proved to be instantaneously feasible when the unsubsidized electric tariff and

324 diesel fuel price are considered. In addition, the system offers emissions reduction by nearly

325 83% compared to conventional power systems.

326

327 Nomenclature

328 ADG Anaerobic Digester Gas

329 CHP Combined-Heat-Power

330 CO2E Equivalent CO2 emissions (ton yr-1)

331 MT Micro-turbine

332 NPC Net Present Cost

333 O&M Operating and maintenance

334 PV Photovoltaic

335 RES Renewable Energy Sources

336 SOFC Solid Oxide Fuel Cell


337 WTS Wind Turbine System

338 WWTP Wastewater Treatment Plant

339

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