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Investigating viability of using solar

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dc.contributor.supervisor Hove, Tawanda Lesenyeho, Tabempe Edgar 2022-02-09T09:34:12Z 2022-02-09T09:34:12Z 2021-04
dc.description.abstract Selection of the solar thermal collector using the energy per dollar matrix, prevailing interest rate and the prevailing inflation rate is of paramount importance for decision-making for investment in solar-assisted biodigesters. This paper presents a comprehensive computer-based excel model on investigating the viability of using solar thermal energy for optimizing the biogas yields in Lesotho. The excel based model is used to analyze both the thermal and economic performance of the solar-assisted biogas digester.The model determines solar thermal performance,solar thermal collector size, solar storage size, as well as the surface area over which the heat losses occur in both the solar water heater and biodigester tank.It will further look into economic analysis of the system. In order to ensure maximum benefits, sizing of the solar thermal system has been carried out to give the optimum solution. Simulations have been performed on an hourly time step. Comparison of production of biogas with solar thermal energy and production of biogas without solar thermal energy were undertaken to find the effects of temperature on the production of biogas. It was found that the production of biogas is optimum at the mesophilic temperatures of 180 C to 300 C. Different collectors, both evacuated tube collectors and flat plate collectors which are valued by Solar Ratings & Certificate Corporation are ranked using energy per dollar matrix. The Sun power evacuated tube collector is the best collector used for system design since it has high energy per dollar of 25.3 kWh and low heat loss parameters. The Net Present Value is the objective function to optimize for the solar thermal system. The optimum collector area to deploy for 5𝑚3 biodigester is 16𝑚2, the optimum solar storage tank of 800 liters is required. The total cost of buying the collector and the solar storage tank is $1744.In Lesotho 1𝑚3 of biodigester requires a solar v thermal collector area of about 3𝑚2.The optimum collector area gives a maximum Net Present Value of $1854.Moreover, the biogas produced is 396𝑚3 per annum with the percentage increase of extra biogas as 11.5% per annum. The project is economically viable with a Net Present Value of $1854, an Internal Rate of Return of 10.36%, a Payback period of 9 years, and a Benefit-Cost Ratio of 2.01. The project lifetime is 20 years. en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship National Manpower Development Secretariat en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher National University of Lesotho en_ZA
dc.rights Lesenyeho Tabempe Edgar en_ZA
dc.source Online en_ZA
dc.subject Marginal diminishing returns, energy per dollar matrix, solar thermal energy, optimum collector are, economic performance indicators en_ZA
dc.title Investigating viability of using solar en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA MSc Sustainable Energy en_ZA

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