||Developing nations face insurmountable challenges to reliably and sustainably provide energy and water to the population. These resources are intricately entwined such that decisions on the use of one affects the other (energy-water nexus). Inadequate and ageing infrastructure, increased population and connectivity, urbanization, improved standards of living and spatially uneven rainfall are some of the reasons causing this insecurity. Expanding and developing new supply infrastructure is not sustainable due to sky high costs and negative environmental impact such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and over extraction of surface water. The exponentially increasing demand, way above the capacity of supply infrastructure in most developing countries, requires urgent mitigation strategies through demand side management (DSM). The DSM strategies seek to increase efficiency of use of available resources and reducing demand from utilities in the short, medium and long term.
Renewable energy, rooftop rain water harvesting, pump-storage scheme and grey water recycling are some alternatives being used to curb the insecurity. However, renewable energy and rooftop water harvesting are spasmodic in nature hampering their adoption as the sole supply options for energy and water respectively.
The built environment is one of the largest energy and water consuming sectors in the world presenting a huge potential towards conserving and increasing efficiency of these resources. For this reason, coupled with the 1970s energy challenges, the concept of green buildings seeking to, among other factors, reduce the consumption of energy and water sprung up. Conventionally, policy makers, industry players and researchers have made decisions on either resource independently, with little knowledge on the effect it would have on the other. It is therefore imperative that optimal integration of alternative sources and resource efficient technologies are implemented and analysed jointly in order to achieve maximum benefits. This is a step closer to achieving green buildings while also improving energy and water security.
A multifaceted approach to save energy and water should integrate appropriate resource efficient technology, alternative source and an advanced and reliable control system to coordinate their operation.
In a typical South African urban residential house, water heating is one of the most energy and water intensive end uses while lawn irrigation is the highest water intensive end use occasioned by low rainfall and high evaporation. Therefore, seamless integration of these alternative supply and most resource intensive end uses provides the highest potential towards resource conservation. This thesis introduces the first practical and economical attempt to integrate various alternative energy and water supply options with efficient devices. The multifaceted approach used in this research has proven that optimal control strategy can significantly reduce the cost of these resources, bring in revenue through renewable energy sales, reuse waste water and reduce the demand for grid energy, water and waste water services.
This thesis is generally divided into cold and hot water categories; both of which energy-water nexus DSM is carried out. Open-loop optimal and closed-loop model predictive (MPC) control strategies that minimize the objective while meeting present technical and operational constraints are designed. In cold water systems, open-loop optimal and MPC strategies are designed to improve water reliability through a pump storage system. Energy efficiency (EE) of the pump is achieved through optimally shifting the load to off-peak period of the time-of-use (TOU) tariff in South Africa. Thereafter, an open-loop optimal control strategy is developed for rooftop rain water harvesting for lawn irrigation. The controller ensures water is conserved by using the stored rain water and ensuring only the required amount of water is used for irrigation. Further, EE is achieved through load shifting of the pump subject to the TOU tariff. The two control strategies are then developed to operate a grey water recycling system that is useful in meeting non-potable water demand such as toilet flushing and lawn irrigation and EE is achieved through shifting of pump's load. Finally, the two control strategies are designed for an integrated rain and grey water recycling for a residential house, whose life cycle cost (LCC) analysis is carried out. The hot water category is more energy intensive, and therefore, the open-loop optimal control strategy is developed to control a heat pump water heater (HPWH) and an instantaneous shower, both powered by grid-tied renewable energy systems. Solar and wind energy are used due to their abundance in South Africa. Thereafter, the MPC strategy is developed to power same devices with renewable energy systems. In both strategies, energy is saved through the use of renewable energy sources, that also bring in revenue through sale of excess power back to the grid. In addition, water is conserved through heating the cold water in the pipes using the instantaneous shower rather than running it down the drain while waiting for hot water to arrive. LCC analysis is also carried out for this strategy.
Each of the two control strategies has its strengths. The open loop optimal control is easier and cheaper to implement but is only suitable in cases where uncertainties and disturbances affecting the system do not alter the demand pattern for water in a major way. Conversely, the closed-loop MPC strategy is more complicated and costly to implement due to additional components like sensors, but comes with great robustness against uncertainties and disturbances. Both strategies are beneficial in ensuring security and reliability of energy and water is achieved. Importantly, technology alone cannot have sustainable DSM impact. Public education and awareness on importance of energy and water savings, improved efficiency and effect on supply infrastructure and greenhouse gas emissions are essential. Awareness is also important in enabling the acceptance of these technological advancements by the society.
||Wanjiru, E 2017, Optimal energy-water nexus management in residential buildings incorporating renewable energy, efficient devices and water recycling, PhD Thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/61465>