Technical and economic evaluation of the utilisation of wind energy at the SANAE IV base in Antarctica

Teetz, Heiko Walter (2002-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The cost of powering Antarctic research stations by conventional diesel electric generator systems is high (Steel, 1993). In order to reduce these costs and airborne pollution due to the combustion of fossil fuels, an investigation into renewable energy sources has been conducted, with the focus on wind turbine energy generation. The aim was to see whether a wind turbine is feasible, both technically and economically, for partial energy production at the SANAE IV base. The existing diesel electrical generators will still be used for the base demand, when there is not enough wind or when the energy demand is more than can be produced by the wind turbine. The work accomplished for this study explains and motivates a MSc. (Eng.) thesis on the feasibility of installing wind electricity generators at Antarctica. This evaluation was done for the South African research station SANAE IV in Antarctica. It provides information on the literature consulted to date, the theoretical and practical work covered, the theoretical investigations, the results obtained and future implementations. Also included in this work was a trip to Antarctica, so that all the relevant data, like wind speeds and wind direction could be measured. Another reason for having done the trip was to do an energy audit for SANAE IV, so that the energy demand for the base could be established. The energy demand of the base varies among other factors, for summer and winter conditions, for day and night conditions, and for population variations. With the information obtained during the trip, the theoretical evaluation of a possible wind turbine system was performed. With the aid of the data from the 6 m wind mast, wind profiles have been established, from which Wei bull distributions were obtained, and the energy output from 5 different wind turbines, in the range between 10 kW and 100 kW, were calculated. The annual energy production of the 100 kW wind turbine is 430 MWh with a capacity factor of 49 %. The annual energy demand of the base amounts to 1153 MWh, thus the wind turbine could contribute up to 30 % of the power needed at the base taking losses, such as availability and maintenance losses, into account. From the automatic weather station of the South African Weather Services, positioned at SANAE IV, wind speed and direction data for the year 2001 was obtained and this data was analyzed. The results show that the winds at SANAE IV are highly directional, coming mostly from an eastern and southeastern direction. This highly directional wind pattern is well suited for wind turbine application. The average wind speed, being measured at 10m height, is 10.8 m/s and the hourly averaged maximum wind speed for the year 2001 is 38.9 mls. From the wind analysis, site survey, cold weather issues and connection to the electricity grid of the base, it becomes evident that the North Wind NWIOO/19 100 kW wind turbine is the best-suited wind turbine for installation at SANAE IV. One of the major advantages of the NW100/19 is that it features a tilt-up tower erecting system that enables the wind turbine to be installed without the use of a crane. The NW100/19 is the only turbine rated at 100 kW, with this feature. From the economic analysis it is evident that a wind turbine, with the complete installation, operation and maintenance costs, features a break even period of 10 years, when installed at SANAE IV. This relatively short breakeven period, considering that the life of the turbine is 30 years, originates from the fact that the average wind speed at the base is about 11 mis, which is relatively high and yields enormous power productions. This wind turbine operates for approximately 80 % during a year, which is very high, making this renewable energy source very attractive as a power-generating source for SANAE IV. The cost per kWh produced by the wind-diesel system is R1.63/kWh, while the cost per kWh produced by the current diesel generators, satisfying the power demand of the base, is R1.94/kWh. Thus the hybrid system can reduce the cost of power produced by almost 20 %, which again demonstrates the attractiveness of using wind power at SANAE IV. From an environmental point of view, the use of wind power at SANAE IV is favorable, since a wind turbine has minimal effects on the environment at Antarctica. The cost of emissions and fuel spills were calculated for SANAE IV. The fuel saving, resulting from the operation of a wind turbine at SANAE IV, converts to a saving in externalities of about R500 000.00 per year, using an evaluation method that was applied to remote Alaskan villages. It can therefore be concluded that the aims of the project have been fully accomplished and that the use of wind power at SANAE IV is indeed a very attractive option, regarding all the criteria mentioned above. When it is being decided that a budget will be provided for a wind turbine installation, the economic analysis has to be refined, due to the uncertainty of the market value of the South African currency.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die koste verbonde aan krag voorsiening vir Antarktiese navorsingstasies deur middel van konvensionele diesel elektriese kragopwekkers is baie hoog (Steel, 1993). Om hierdie kostes en lugbesoedeling weens die verbranding van fossielbrandstowwe te verminder, is 'n ondersoek na hemubare energiebronne gedoen, met die fokus op windturbiene energie opwekking. Die doelwit van die studie was om te sien of 'n windturbiene aanwending vir kragopwekking vir die SANAE IV stasie lewensvatbaar is, gebaseer op tegniese en ekonomiese uitgangspunte. Die bestaande diesel elektriese kragopwekkers sal nog altyd gebruik word vir kragopwekking, as daar nie genoeg wind is nie, of as die energievraag hoer is as wat kan verskafword deur die wind turbine. Die werk wat vir hierdie studie voltooi is belig en motiveer 'n MSc(Ing) tesis oor die lewensvatbaarheid vir installering van 'n windelektriese kragopwekker op Antarktika. Hierdie evaluasie is gedoen vir die Suid Afrikanse navorsingstasie, SANAE IV, op Antarktika. Dit behels informasie oor die literatuur verwerk tot dusver, die teoretiese en praktiese werk gedoen, die teoretiese ondersoeke, die resultate verkry en toekomstige verwesenlikings. Werk ook ingesluit was 'n expedisie na Antarktika toe, sodat al die relevante data, soos wind spoed en rigtings gemeet kon word. Nog 'n rede om die expedisie te doen was om energie data van SANAE IV te meet, sodat die energieverbruik van die basis bevestig kon word. Die energieverbruik van die basis varieer ten opsigte van somer en winter kondisies, van dag en nag variasies en inwonergetalle. Met die informasie verkry gedurende die expedisie kon 'n evaluasie gedoen word vir 'n moontlike windturbiene stelsel op Antarktika. Met die hulp van 'n 6tn wind toring kon wind profiele gekry word, waarvandaan Weibull verdelings bereken is en die kragopwekking van 5 verskillende windturbienes bereken is, wat wissel van 10 kW tot 100 kW. Die jaarlikse energieopwekking vir die 100 kW wind turbine is 430 MWh met 'n kapasiteitsfaktoor van 49 %. Die jaarlikse energieaanvraag van die stasie is 1153 MWh. Dus kan die wind turbine ongeveer 30 % van die jaarlikse energieaanvraag dek, as verliese soos beskikbaarheids- en instandhoudingsverliese III berekening gebring word. Wind spoed en rigting data vir die jaar 2001 is verkry van die outomatiese weerstasie van die Suid Afrikaanse Weer Diens, wat geposisioneer is by die SANAE IV stasie, en hierdie data is geanaliseer. Die resultate verkry bewys die direksionele stabiliteit van die winde by SANAE IV, waarvandaan die meeste winde uit die oostlike en suidoostlike rigting kom. Hierdie hoogs gekosentreede winde is baie goed geskik vir windturbiene aanwending. Die gemiddelde wind spoed, wat gemeet is op 'n hoogte van 10 m is 10.8 m/s en die uurlike gemiddelde maksimum wind spoed vir die jaar 2001 is 38.9 m/s. Van die wind analise, terrein analise, koue weer informasie en koppeling van die wind turbine by die bestaande elektrisiteits netwerk word bevestig dat die North Wind NW100119 100 kW windturbiene die geskikste windturbiene vir installasie en werking by SANAE IV is. Een van die grootste voordele van die NW100/19 windturbiene is dat dit 'n selfoprigdende meganisme het, wat sonder die hulp van 'n kraan werk. Die NW100/19 is die enigste windturbiene in sy klas, wat so 'n funksie het. Van die ekonomiese analise kan afgelei-word, dat 'n wind turbine met volledige installasie, werking en diens kostes, 'n kapitale terugbetalings periode van 10 jaar het, as dit by SANAE IV geinstalleer word. Hierdie tydperk is relatief kort, as gekyk word na die ontwerp leeftyd van 30 jaar van die NW100/19 wind turbine. Die rede vir die kort terugbetalings periode is afkomstig van die hoe gemiddelde wind spoed by SANAE IV, wat enorme kragopwekking tot gevolgtrekking het. Dit kan ook gesien word aan die hoe werkingsure van die turbine wat 6942 uur per jaar is. Dus wek die turbine vir omtrent 80 % van die jaar krag op, wat beinvloed dat 'n wind turbine opsie vir SANAE IV baie aantreklik is. Die koste per kWh krag opgewek vir die wind-diesel sisteem is R1.63/kWh, terwyl die koste per kWh krag opgewek vir die huidige diesel generator opstelling R1.941kWh is. Dus kan 'n kostebesparing van tot 20% van die energie onkostes verkry word, wat weer eens beklemtoon, dat die wind-diesel sisteem baie aantreklik vir kragopwekking by SANAE IV is. Vanaf 'n omgewingsoogpunt gesien het die gebruik van 'n wind turbine stelsel by die SANAE IV stasie net weglaatbaar klein invloede op die omgewing in vergelyking met die lugbesoedeling van die diesel kragopwekkers. As die koste verbonde aan lugbesoedeling en brandstof lekkasie besoedeling bereken word kan die wind turbine stelsel omtrent R500000.00 per jaar aan besoedeling onkostes spaar. Die getalle vir besoedelings onkostes is gebaseer op die evaluasie van besoedeling vir afgelee Amerikanse dorpies (Isherwood et al., 1999). Dit kan dus afgelei word vanaf die bogenoemde bevindings, dat die doelwitte van die tesis bereik is en dat wind krag opwekking by SANAE IV inderdaad 'n baie aantreklike moontlikheid is. Wanneer 'n begroting beskikbaar gestel word vir 'n windturbiene stelsel vir SANAE IV, moet die ekonomiese analise geoptimeer word weens die onsekerheid van die markwaaarde van die Suid Afrikaanse Rand.

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