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Cost Benefit Analysis of PV and Storage Installation at Murdoch University

Alhusayni, Sami (2017) Cost Benefit Analysis of PV and Storage Installation at Murdoch University. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This project investigates the cost benefit analysis of photovoltaic (PV) and storage installations at Murdoch University (MU). For this project the load profile for the energy use at MU was analyzed to gain an estimate of the required system size for the project. From the load profile it was found that MU consumed a total of 22.291 GWh / year with a peak of 5.61 MW. Helioscope software was then used to measure the roof space available to accommodate for PV installation. It was found that MU had an available rooftop space able to accommodate for a capacity of 2MW on the North facing rooftops, 500kW on the West facing rooftops and 600 kW on the East facing rooftops. With the load profile data and the available rooftop capacity found, simulations were run using HOMER software to find the optimum system with respect to cost and performance. A total of 8 simulations were run using trial and error until the optimum system was found. In the first 4 simulations the component size limits were altered until HOMER produced an optimum system which met the requirements needed to operate at MU. The 5th simulation was used to change the converter component to the maximum limit in order to examine the change of converter on the optimum system. The 6th simulation was a sensitivity analysis simulation that examined the change in system size and behavior that would occur for a change in the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs of the components used in this project. The 7th simulation was a sensitivity analysis simulation that investigated the effect of the change in cost of system components on the system size and performance. From these simulations it was evident that the battery storage was not considered and thus the 8th simulation was a sensitivity analysis to investigate the required cost reduction required to add a battery storage to the system. From the simulations it was found that the optimum system was a grid connected 2MW North facing PV system with a 1620kW inverter. The system had a project lifetime of 20 years and reduced the grid purchase capacity from its current value of 6112kW to 5300kW. Also, the system reduced the annual total energy purchased from 22.291 GWh/year to 18.84 GWh/year. The system would give a renewable fraction of 15.49% of the energy used at MU. The cost benefit analysis (CBA) conducted found that the total initial cost of the system was $3.4M. The cost of electricity (COE) and the net present cost (NPC) were $0.15 and $32.8M respectively. The project payback period after the consideration of large scale generation certificates (LGC’s) was 4.4 years.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Arefi, Ali
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