Requirements specification for the optimisation function of an electric utility's energy flow simulator

Hatton, Marc (2015-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Efficient and reliable energy generation capability is vital to any country's economic growth. Many strategic, tactical and operational decisions take place along the energy supply chain. Shortcomings in South Africa's electricity production industry have led to the development of an energy ow simulator. The energy ow simulator is claimed to incorporate all significant factors involved in the energy ow process from primary energy to end-use consumption. The energy ow simulator thus provides a decision support system for electric utility planners. The original aim of this study was to develop a global optimisation model and integrate it into the existing energy ow simulator. After gaining an understanding of the architecture of the energy ow simulator and scrutinising a large number of variables, it was concluded that global optimisation was infeasible. The energy ow simulator is made up of four modules and is operated on a module-by-module basis, with inputs and outputs owing between modules. One of the modules, namely the primary energy module, lends itself well to optimisation. The primary energy module simulates coal stockpile levels through Monte Carlo simulation. Classic inventory management policies were adapted to fit the structure of the primary energy module, which is treated as a black box. The coal stockpile management policies that are introduced provide a prescriptive means to deal with the stochastic nature of the coal stockpiles. As the planning horizon continuously changes and the entire energy ow simulator has to be re-run, an efficient algorithm is required to optimise stockpile management policies. Optimisation is achieved through the rapidly converging cross-entropy method. By integrating the simulation and optimisation model, a prescriptive capability is added to the primary energy module. Furthermore, this study shows that coal stockpile management policies can be improved. An integrated solution is developed by nesting the primary energy module within the optimisation model. Scalability is incorporated into the optimisation model through a coding approach that automatically adjusts to an everchanging planning horizon as well as the commission and decommission of power stations. As this study is the first of several research projects to come, it paves the way for future research on the energy ow simulator by proposing future areas of investigation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Effektiewe en betroubare energie-opwekkingsvermoë is van kardinale belang in enige land se ekonomiese groei. Baie strategiese, taktiese en operasionele besluite word deurgaans in die energie-verskaffingsketting geneem. Tekortkominge in Suid-Afrika se elektrisiteitsopwekkingsindustrie het tot die ontwikkeling van 'n energie-vloei-simuleerder gelei. Die energie-vloei-simuleerder vervat na bewering al die belangrike faktore wat op die energie-vloei-proses betrekking het van primêre energieverbruik tot eindgebruik. Die energie-vloei-simuleerder verskaf dus 'n ondersteuningstelsel aan elektrisiteitsdiensbeplanners vir die neem van besluite. Die oorspronklike doel van hierdie studie was om 'n globale optimeringsmodel te ontwikkel en te integreer in die bestaande energie-vloeisimuleerder. Na 'n begrip aangaande die argitektuur van die energievloei- simuleerder gevorm is en 'n groot aantal veranderlikes ondersoek is, is die slotsom bereik dat globale optimering nie lewensvatbaar is nie. Die energie-vloei-simuleerder bestaan uit vier eenhede en werk op 'n eenheid-tot-eenheid basis met insette en uitsette wat tussen eenhede vloei. Een van die eenhede, naamlik die primêre energiemodel, leen dit goed tot optimering. Die primêre energiemodel boots steenkoolreserwevlakke deur Monte Carlo-simulering na. Tradisionele voorraadbestuursbeleide is aangepas om die primêre energiemodel se struktuur wat as 'n swartboks hanteer word, te pas. Die steenkoolreserwebestuursbeleide wat ingestel is, verskaf 'n voorgeskrewe middel om met die stogastiese aard van die steenkoolreserwes te werk. Aangesien die beplanningshorison deurgaans verander en die hele energie-vloei-simulering weer met die energie-vloei-simuleerder uitgevoer moet word, word 'n effektiewe algoritme benodig om die re-serwebestuursbeleide te optimeer. Optimering word bereik deur die vinnige konvergerende kruis-entropie-metode. 'n Geïntegreerde oplossing is ontwikkel deur die primêre energiemodel en die optimering funksie saam te voeg. Skalering word ingesluit in die optimeringsmodel deur 'n koderingsbenadering wat outomaties aanpas tot 'n altyd-veranderende beplanningshorison asook die ingebruikneem en uitgebruikstel van kragstasies. Aangesien hierdie studie die eerste van verskeie navorsingsprojekte is, baan dit die weg vir toekomstige navorsing oor die energie-vloeisimuleerder deur ondersoekareas vir die toekoms voor te stel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96956
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