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An economic analysis of photovoltaic water pumping irrigation systems
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1351-9245
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6279-4446
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0300-0762
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Green Energy, ISSN 1543-5075, E-ISSN 1543-5083, Vol. 13, no 8, p. 831-839Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

ABSTRACT: Irrigation using the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) systems represents a sustainable and attractive solution, which can combat Chinese grassland desertification and promote a sustainable development of the agricultural sector. This paper investigates the economics of PVWP systems taking into consideration the effects of the key components on the initial capital cost (ICC), life cycle cost (LCC), and revenues. Sensitivity analyses are conducted regarding the crop yield and price, cost of photovoltaic modules, and system components included in the ICC. Results show that the cost of the PVWP system is the most sensitive parameter affecting the ICC under the assumptions made, especially the cost of the PV modules; whereas, the crop production and price affect the net present value (NPV) and payback period (PBP) clearly. The PVWP has surplus power output when the crop water demand is low or it is non-irrigation season. The potential benefit from selling the surplus electricity is also discussed. In addition, the indirect benefits of carbon sequestration and CO2 emission reduction by applying PVWP systems are addressed in this paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 13, no 8, p. 831-839
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27649DOI: 10.1080/15435075.2016.1161631ISI: 000382233500010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84979707887OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-27649DiVA, id: diva2:793075
Available from: 2015-03-06 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. PV water pumping systems for agricultural applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>PV water pumping systems for agricultural applications
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Grassland and farmland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic threats for China. The degradation process negatively affects food and water security, economy, society and climate changes.

Photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the grassland degradation. At the same time it can promote the conservation of farmland, especially in remote areas of China. The combination of PVWP technology with water saving irrigation techniques and sustainable management of the groundwater resources can lead to several benefits. These include enhancing grassland productivity, halting wind and rainfall erosion, providing higher incomes and better living conditions for farmers.   

This doctoral thesis aims to bridge the current knowledge gaps, optimize system implementation and prevent system failures. This work represents thus a step forward to solve the current and future nexus between energy, water and food security in China, using PVWP technology for irrigation.

Models for the dynamic simulations of PVWP systems, irrigation water requirements (IWR) and crop response to water have been presented and integrated. Field measurements at a pilot PVWP system in Inner Mongolia have been conducted to analyse the reliability of the models adopted. A revision of the traditional design approaches and a new optimization procedure based on a genetic algorithm (GA) have been proposed to guarantee the match between IWR and water supply, to minimize the system failures and to maximize crop productivity and thus the PVWP system profitability and effectiveness.

Several economic analyses have been conducted to establish the most cost effective solution for irrigation and to evaluate the project profitability. The possible benefits generated by the PVWP system implementation have been highlighted, as well as the effects of the most sensitive parameters, such as forage price and incentives. The results show that PVWP system represents the best technical and economic solution to provide water for irrigation in the remote areas compared to other traditional water pumping technologies. The environmental benefits have been also addressed, evaluating the CO2 emissions saving achievable from the PVWP system operation. The assessment of the feasible and optimal areas for implementing PVWP systems in China has been conducted using spatial analysis and an optimization tool for the entire supply chain of forage production. The results show that the potentials of PVWP systems in China are large. Nevertheless, the feasible and optimal locations are extremely sensitive to several environmental and economic para­meters such as forage IWR, groundwater depth, and CO2 credits that need to be carefully taken into account in the planning process.   

Although this doctoral thesis has used China as case study, PVWP technology can be applied for irrigation purposes all over the world both for off- and on-grid applications leading to several economic and environmental benefits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 175
National Category
Engineering and Technology Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27641 (URN)978-91-7485-189-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-04-24, Delta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-03-09 Created: 2015-03-04 Last updated: 2015-04-09Bibliographically approved

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Campana, Pietro EliaLi, HailongYan, Jinyue

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