Spatial complementarity in time between energy resources

Significance Statement

Hybrid energy systems have been seen as a promising alternative solution for a sustainable future. Their use has increased rapidly over the past few years thus promoting their research relating to design and optimization. Despite their high initial costs as compared to one renewable energy resource, recent growth in the demand for energy conversion devices have seen the cost reduction. Today, technology managers require efficient tools to help them in making decisions on new plants and investments in renewable resources thereby leading to better use of the available energy resources. As such, complementarity concept has been identified as a promising solution.

In renewable energy resources field, complementarity can be used as a design parameter, planning, and management tool. Generally, a complete complementarity needs to consider time, energy and amplitude of variation. Time-complementarity is completed when the availability minima takes place between six-month, energy-complementarity requires equal mean values of the compared energy resources while amplitude-complementarity only takes place when the difference in the maximum and minimum energies are equal for the compared resources. Consequently, complementarity can be accessed depending on the nature of the study that is, between energy resources in one or different places. Owing to various difficulties that have been experienced in the past researches such as technical challenges and result presentation, there has been a great need for more effective approaches for determining complementarities between the energy resources.

Dr. Alfonso Risso, Professor Alexandre Beluco and Professor Rita de Cássia Marques Alves at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil proposed a new method for obtaining spatial complementarity in time and how it can be expressed through maps. They established a hexagonal network of cells and determined complementary roses for each of them. In this case, the petal lengths represented the distance between the cells while the color represented the complementarity of the cells. The authors purposed to use the method in determining the spatial complementarity in time between some wind farms and hydroelectric power plants along a certain territory and present the obtained map of the complementarity in time. Their work is currently published in the research journal, Energies.

The authors successfully applied the newly developed approach in determining the spatial complementarity in time between initially identified wind farms and power plants along the State of Rio Grande territory. They also presented it on a map hence enhancing the effectiveness of the method.

By expressing the spatial complementarity in time through a map, the researchers brought on board a better use of the complementarity method as a key tool in design, optimizing and management of renewable energy resources. Thus, they overcame some of the previously faced challenges to enhance the efficiency of the complementarity concept among the technology and energy managers. Furthermore, the information on the complementarity map is reliable since the data used to obtain the complementarity of the roses are accurate. Therefore, it can be extended to determine energy-complementarity and amplitude- complementarity. The study will, therefore, advance the renewable energy resources sector for the realization of a sustainable future.

Journal Reference

Risso, A., Beluco, A., & Marques Alves, R. (2018). Complementarity Roses Evaluating Spatial Complementarity in Time between Energy Resources. Energies11(7), 1918.

Go To Energies 


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