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Tropentag, September 20 - 22, 2023, Berlin

"Competing pathways for equitable food systems transformation:
trade-offs and synergies"

Computational sizing of a hybrid photovoltaic system for peanut oil production in Senegal

Wiomou Joévin Bonzi , Sebastian Romuli, Joachim Müller

University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Engineering, Tropics and Subtropics Group, Germany


In Senegal, peanut is the first agricultural product. However, only 40% is locally processed, with 32% for edible oil. Plant oil extraction faces high cost of electricity and competition from importers. Renewable energy could be a solution, but determining the most profitable renewable system requires consideration of load profile, meteorological data, and economical aspects. This study aimed to develop an approach to sizing a hybrid photovoltaic system through a predictive model of the electrical load of a service-based plant oil processing company. To achieve this, a diagnosis was conducted at the small-scale industry Yaye Aissatou in Passy, Senegal, to evaluate the peanut oil extraction process. The mass and energy balance were measured. The processing capacity was 4 tons of in-shell peanuts per day for 1 ton of oil produced, using 67 kWh of electricity. The process was implemented into MATLAB Simulink to find the load profile. An optimisation was performed to identify the working time, quantity of material, and customer arrival probability matching the diagnosis results. The simulated load profile was implemented in HOMER Pro, along with the meteorological data of the site and the cost of solar components in Senegal, to identify the characteristics of the most profitable hybrid system. The optimal solution presenting the lowest net present cost over 25 years was found to be a grid-connected system with 18.6 kWp solar panels, 16 kWh of storage, and an initial investment of 13.1 million francs CFA. Compared to a grid-only scenario, this solution reduces the net present cost from an initial 47.3 million CFA to 20.7 million CFA, the operating cost from 2.4 million CFA per year to 386,964 CFA per year, and the cost of energy from 193 to 84 CFA/kWh. The renewable fraction of the proposed system is 90.1% while the expected payback period is 6.2 years. The study demonstrates the economic feasibility of using photovoltaic energy for plant oil processing and provides insights into the sizing of a hybrid-grid- photovoltaic system.

Keywords: Economic feasibility, load profile, mechanical oil extraction, plant oil, process simulation model, renewable energy, solar energy

Contact Address: Wiomou Joévin Bonzi , University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Engineering, Tropics and Subtropics Group, Garbenstraße 9, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: bonzi.wiomoujoevin@uni-hohenheim.de

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