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Article

Development of a Tool for Optimizing Solar and Battery Storage for Container Farming in a Remote Arctic Microgrid

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2
Alaska Center for Energy and Power, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(19), 5143; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13195143
Received: 28 August 2020 / Revised: 23 September 2020 / Accepted: 24 September 2020 / Published: 2 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accelerating Renewable Energy Transition Post Major World Events)
High transportation costs make energy and food expensive in remote communities worldwide, especially in high-latitude Arctic climates. Past attempts to grow food indoors in these remote areas have proven uneconomical due to the need for expensive imported diesel for heating and electricity. This study aims to determine whether solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity can be used affordably to power container farms integrated with a remote Arctic community microgrid. A mixed-integer linear optimization model (FEWMORE: Food–Energy–Water Microgrid Optimization with Renewable Energy) has been developed to minimize the capital and maintenance costs of installing solar photovoltaics (PV) plus electricity storage and the operational costs of purchasing electricity from the community microgrid to power a container farm. FEWMORE expands upon previous models by simulating demand-side management of container farm loads. Its results are compared with those of another model (HOMER) for a test case. FEWMORE determined that 17 kW of solar PV was optimal to power the farm loads, resulting in a total annual cost decline of ~14% compared with a container farm currently operating in the Yukon. Managing specific loads appropriately can reduce total costs by ~18%. Thus, even in an Arctic climate, where the solar PV system supplies only ~7% of total load during the winter and ~25% of the load during the entire year, investing in solar PV reduces costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: microgrid; container farm; solar photovoltaics (PV); renewable energy; storage microgrid; container farm; solar photovoltaics (PV); renewable energy; storage
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sambor, D.J.; Wilber, M.; Whitney, E.; Jacobson, M.Z. Development of a Tool for Optimizing Solar and Battery Storage for Container Farming in a Remote Arctic Microgrid. Energies 2020, 13, 5143. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13195143

AMA Style

Sambor DJ, Wilber M, Whitney E, Jacobson MZ. Development of a Tool for Optimizing Solar and Battery Storage for Container Farming in a Remote Arctic Microgrid. Energies. 2020; 13(19):5143. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13195143

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sambor, Daniel J., Michelle Wilber, Erin Whitney, and Mark Z. Jacobson. 2020. "Development of a Tool for Optimizing Solar and Battery Storage for Container Farming in a Remote Arctic Microgrid" Energies 13, no. 19: 5143. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13195143

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