Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Reservoir Based Hydropower System, a Case Study: Dwangwa River, Malawi

Sylvester William Chisale, Sylvester Richard Chikabvumbwa, Lackson Chisanu

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2020/v5i430151

Unreliable power in Malawi mainly results from fluctuating water levels in most run-of-river hydropower plants. These power outages worsen during the dry season making it difficult to accommodate the existing demand of electricity. The best solution to ensure reliability of the hydropower system is to incorporate reservoir storage. This study aimed at designing a reservoir based hydropower system to ensure reliability and maximum generation of power at a low cost. The system was designed to export all the energy to national grid for distribution. The monthly average design flow was 29.129 m3/s. Reservoir storage capacity of 536.998 Mm3 was estimated using mass flow curve in MS-Excel while potential head of 100 m was deduced using Google Earth. RETScreen software was used to calculate hydropower potential and determine financial viability of the project. The results showed that the hydropower potential was 22.70 MW and the initial capital cost was $79,434,044 with payback period of 4.8 years. This paper’s levelised cost of energy (LCoE) was 0.099 $/kWh which relatively smaller than grid cost of 0.155 $/kWh. Therefore, this paper presents part of the solution for the persistent power outages and also overcomes the serious power problems during dry season in Malawi.

Open Access Original Research Article

Consumer Preferences for Cooking and Lighting Fuels and Domestic Energy Transition: A Nyeri Town, Kenya, Perspective

Peterson Murimi Nyaga, Anne Sang, Mariita Bw’Obuya, Simon Maina Mundia

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 14-25
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2020/v5i430153

Improving access to modern fuels in developing countries is crucial in mitigating unfavorable environmental and health impacts caused by the continued use of traditional fuels. Use of modern fuels lead to improved standards of living and gender equity of women and children. This paper estimates preferences for domestic fuels and reasons thereof by households in urban areas in Nyeri town, Kenya. The study uses Nyeri town micro-data to perform correlation analysis to determine the relationship between fuel preference and domestic energy transition. Transition is considered along three categories of domestic fuels: traditional -firewood and charcoal; transitional fuels- kerosene; modern fuels – Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), biogas, solar and grid electricity. The result findings show that urban residents use traditional, transitional and modern fuels through energy stacking theory with the transition to modern fuels following a consistent pattern. The major reasons for fuel preference were established as fuel convenience, affordability, ease of accessibility and cultural beliefs by 46.5%, 37.2%, 10.5% and 5.8% of the respondents respectively.

Open Access Original Research Article

Application of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) in the Optimization of Crude Oil Refinery Process: New Port-Harcourt Refinery

M. N. Braimah

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 26-38
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2020/v5i430154

Background: Optimizing the process conditions of the crude distillation unit is a main challenge for each refinery. Optimization increases profit by producing the required range of distillates at maximum yield and at minimum cost. To achieve an acceptable control of product quality an artificial neural network (ANN) can be used. ANNs are used for engineering purposes, such as pattern recognition, forecasting, and data compression. In the petroleum refinery industry, ANN has been used as controller in for the crude distillation unit. The aim of the current study was to use ANN to optimize and achieve control of product quality of crude distillation unit of an oil   refinery.

Materials: The research was carried out using the following materials; The design flowchart and the operating data of the crude distillation unit of the New Port Harcourt refinery, Simulation software (HYSYS 2006.5) and Matlab for the ANN.

Results: The ANN predicted the optimum operating conditions at which the atmospheric distillation unit (ADU) can operate with the least irreversibility and without changing the design and compromising the products quality. The corresponding exergy efficiency after optimization with ANN for the input variable combinations was 70.6% which was a great improvement because the exergy efficiency increased as compared to the base case of 51.9%.

Conclusion: Optimization using ANN, improved the efficiency of the ADU with the least irreversibility and without changing the design and compromising the products quality.

Open Access Original Research Article

Natural Gas Development Trend in Nigeria: The Investor’s Road Map

G. O. Ani, S. S. Ikiensikimama

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 39-48
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2020/v5i430155

Natural gas as a cleaner energy is attracting investors across the globe, especially country like Nigeria with huge gas reserves. This paper present the development trend of natural gas in Nigeria from reserves through production, utilization, local demand, gas export, to regulation, Acts and Policies and possible investment indicators. With 200.41 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas reserves in 2018, Nigeria takes the first position in Africa as total proven gas reserves. However, in production, Nigeria falls to third position and consumption/utilization is minimal, indicating that some of the produced gas was flared. With a total reserve of 182.817 Tcf in 2010, 1.54% of the reserves was produced with 19.33% flared, and in 2017, with reserves of 199.09 Tcf, 1.48% was produced and 11.74% was flared. The present state of the power sector, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) (production and consumption) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for vehicles, are indicators for investors to aggressively develop the natural gas infrastructure. However, an independent Regulating Agency needs to setup policies to regulate natural gas flaring and prices in order to guaranty a workable partnership and protect consumers and investors.

Open Access Original Research Article

Metal Oxides Based Hydrogen Sensor Works at Room Temperature

Salim F. Bamsaoud, R. C. Aiyer, S. W. Gosavi

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 49-59
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2020/v5i430156

Tin chloride and Palladium chloride were used to fabricate H2 sensor based on PdO, SnO2 and PdOx functionalized SnO2 nanoparticles. There sensors were fabricated by spin coating technique using single step thermal decomposition method (SSTD) with annealing temperature of 550°C. The chemical composition and microstructure of the obtained samples were characterized by using X-ray diffraction, UV-VIS spectra, transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The sensing characteristic of sensors was investigated at different operation temperatures 25, 50 and 80°C. Results showed that PdOx-SnO2 sensor exhibited excellent sensing performance to H2 at room temperature (RT). When the operating temperature was 50°C, the detection limit towards H2 was 0.5 ppm with ultrafast response and recovery time. In addition, the sensor exhibited excellent stability and repeatability at different relative humidity with a high selectivity to H2 detection against CO, CO2, LPG, acetone, methanol and ethanol vapor.