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Feasibility analysis of stand-alone renewable energy supply options for a large hotel

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  • Dalton, G.J.
  • Lockington, D.A.
  • Baldock, T.E.

Abstract

This paper provides a feasibility analysis of renewable energy supply (RES) for a stand-alone supply large-scale tourist operation (with over 100 beds). The analysis utilises the power load data from a hotel located in a subtropical coastal area of Queensland, Australia. The assessment criteria of the analysis are net present cost, renewable factor and payback time. Due to the limited number of RES case studies in tourist operations and the absence of studies for large resorts, requiring facilities with a higher degree of comfort such as air-conditioning, it is not possible to establish with confidence the viability of RES in this industry. The specific operational characteristics of the tourism accommodation sector, such as 24-h operation, comfort provision and low tolerance for failure necessitates a separate assessment of RES viability for this sector, rather than relying on similar assessments from other commercial sectors. This study uses RES assessment software tools, HOMER (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US) and HYBRIDS (Solaris Homes, Queensland, Australia), in order to compare diesel generator-only, RES-only and RES/diesel hybrid technologies. HOMER uses hourly load data, whilst HYBRIDS uses average daily energy demand for each month. The modelling results demonstrate that RES, in principle, has the potential to adequately and reliably meet power demand for a stand-alone large-scale tourist accommodation. Optimisation modelling demonstrates that 100% of power demand can be supplied by a RES-only configuration. A hybrid diesel/RES configuration provides the lowest NPC result with a resultant RF of 76%. In comparison to the diesel generator-only configuration, NPC is reduced by 50% and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 65%. The payback time of the hybrid RES scenario is 4.3 years. Results indicate that wind energy conversion systems (WECS), rather than photovoltaics, are the most economically viable RES for large-scale operations. Large-scale WECS (over 1000kW) are more efficient and economical than multiple small-scale WECS (0.1–100kW). Both modelling tools produced similar results, with HYBRIDS producing on average slightly higher NPC results than HOMER. The modelling and resulting data from the analysis indicate that RES is technically feasible and economically viable as a replacement for conventional thermal energy supply for large-scale tourist operations dependent on stand-alone power supplies.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalton, G.J. & Lockington, D.A. & Baldock, T.E., 2008. "Feasibility analysis of stand-alone renewable energy supply options for a large hotel," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1475-1490.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:33:y:2008:i:7:p:1475-1490
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2007.09.014
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