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A framework for the assessment of optimal and cost-effective energy decarbonisation pathways of a UK-based healthcare facility

Morales Sandoval, Daniel, Saikia, Pranaynil, De la Cruz-Loredo, Ivan, Zhou, Yue ORCID:, Ugalde Loo, Carlos ORCID:, Bastida Hernandez, Jose and Abeysekera, Muditha ORCID: 2023. A framework for the assessment of optimal and cost-effective energy decarbonisation pathways of a UK-based healthcare facility. Applied Energy 352 , 121877. 10.1016/j.apenergy.2023.121877

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In light of the global energy and climate crises, integration of low-carbon technologies into energy systems is being considered to mitigate the high energy costs and carbon footprint. The wide range of available capacities, efficiencies, and investment costs of these technologies and their different possible operating schedules can unlock several pathways towards decarbonisation. This paper presents an optimisation framework for a public healthcare facility to determine the optimal operation schedule of the site's energy system. A detailed techno-economic analysis of low-carbon power generation, conversion, and energy storage technologies that can be incorporated into the system based on real historical data was carried out for different scenarios. The results reveal that a heat pump with a capacity of 1800 kW can replace gas boilers on-site to meet the heat demand while recovering the investment in 5 years and providing an operating and carbon cost saving of 22.47% compared to the base case. The analysis shows that a more electrified mode of operation is favoured during high gas prices, thus making electrical energy storage more attractive than thermal energy storage. While handling real data, the optimisation algorithm was sensitised to discriminate conventional energy supplies from clean energy sources by considering their carbon impact so that it minimises energy bills in a smart and eco-friendly way. The optimisation algorithm and the subsequent techno-economic analysis provide a comprehensive framework to decision-makers for facilitating energy investment decisions. The framework can be used based on the short and long term goals of the energy system, visualising the evolution of financial benefits over equipment lifetime, and understanding the environmental impacts of integrating renewable energy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0306-2619
Funders: EPRSC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 1 September 2023
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2023 09:56

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