Energy Scheme Proposal for Small Sugar Mills for Maximum Power Generation and Bagasse Saving during Harvesting Season
Abstract: Energy systems have significant importance for social development, not least in developing countries. A well-developed energy system can contribute to economic, ecological as well as social sustainability. At the same time, the ambitions to globally reduce dependence on fossil-based fuels and the climate impacting emissions that accompany them increase. To achieve this, energy efficiency improvements and an increased share of renewable energy sources are required. Today, there are both great challenges and opportunities in developing energy systems in developing countries and at the same time reducing the global climate impact. Thanks to the sugar industry in Cuba, there are great opportunities for the country to develop its electricity production from biofuels in the form of bagasse, a residual product which is provided during the process of the production of sugar. This report examines the possibility of developing the energy system in the sugar factory Carlos Baliño, located in Villa Clara in Cuba. The purpose is to enable the factory to minimize its use of bagasse and to maximize electricity production. This is to provide the opportunity for the factory to become more economical and ecologically sustainable. The current energy system in the sugar industry was examined and a model of the energy flows was created in excel. Based on the current energy system, four different scenarios were then examined with potential improvements. These four scenarios were as follows; (1) Preheating, (2) Bagasse drying, (3) Increase inlet boiler pressure and (4) New generator. For the various scenarios, the energy flow schemes were defined and technical components were selected. An economic and ecological analysis based on the best possible parameters of the scenarios was then performed. The result showed that the marginal electricity demand for the current system was 19 kWh per tonne of sugar cane and that the fixed electricity demand was 890 kW. The model defined the value of the bagasse as 8.2 USD per tonne, based on the current system. The current cut of costs by replacing oil were defined as 31 MUSD and the total amount of saved carbon dioxide was 96,000 tonnes, both for a period of 6 years. Out of the four scenarios that were investigated and compared with current systems, drying of bagasse was the option that could best be justified. This scenario resulted in a bagasse value of 5.0 USD per tonne, a cut of costs of 51 MUSD by replacing oil over a 6-year period and 150,000 tonnes of reduced carbon dioxide emissions over the same period. Preheating resulted in an increase in bagasse consumption, but also a higher electricity production. The result also showed that increasing the pressure in the boiler is not relevant, as the current pressure is almost the maximum for the current system. Due to a simplified model, Scenario 4, which included the investment of a new generator, could not be tested.
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