Renewable energy as a source of electricity for Murzuq health clinic during COVID-19

MRS Energy Sustain. 2022;9(1):79-93. doi: 10.1557/s43581-021-00020-w. Epub 2022 Feb 1.


ABSTRACT: A great number of populations of the world, primarily in developing countries, are living in rural areas and are commonly isolated from the grid connection. Unstable power supply and increasing energy prices have significant effects on developing countries, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Renewable energy sources can provide sustainable and efficient electricity supply. Murzuq is a rural community situated in the southern part of Libya and endowed with renewable energy resources. While there is high electricity consumption during the lockdown, health clinics also experienced higher energy consumption of longer operating hours and an increased number of electrical appliances. This study investigates the techno-economic assessment of three different hybrid energy systems for health clinics in Murzuq. HOMER (Hybrid optimization model for electric renewables) software tool was used to evaluate the feasibility of employing renewable energy, to provide sustainable energy supply to the clinic. The current unsteady energy supply comes from the national grid and the current energy supply is not sufficient for the clinic’s operating hours and requires a sustainable and steady supply. Measured data collected from the health clinic and HOMER software were used to analyze and optimize the change in overall electricity demand for the health clinic before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that the photovoltaic/battery hybrid energy system has a lower net present cost, compared to the Photovoltaic/Generator set/ battery hybrid energy system, but higher than the standalone generator set. However, the highest amount of carbon emission associated with the standalone generator set compared to the other two hybrid energy systems disqualifies it from being a suitable contender for the source of electricity for the health clinic. The photovoltaic/battery was deemed to be most economically beneficial in terms of emission reduction and energy price. The outcomes of this investigation will help stakeholders and designers to optimize hybrid energy systems that economically meet the health clinic energy demands, especially during this pandemic.

PMID:36820104 | PMC:PMC8803412 | DOI:10.1557/s43581-021-00020-w


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