DEVELOPMENT OF SOFTWARE FOR LIFE CYCLE COST ANALYSIS OF SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC AND DIESEL GENERATOR SYSTEMS IN NIGERIA
In making a choice of solar Photovoltaic or diesel generator system as an alternative for power generation, life cycle costs (LCC) analysis are considered to be potentially important to such a decision. It incorporates all costs arising from owning, operating, maintaining and ultimately disposing of a project. In this study, a software computer program is developed to determine life cycle cost of solar Photovoltaic and diesel generator systems in Nigeria. The software is developed through an approach involving load determination, energy resources determination, system sizing and a typical residential building. Depending on the user’s needs, selected location, material and criteria, the result of the software will show cost difference between solar Photovoltaic and diesel generator power systems as well as cost variation in different designers’ specifications for either of the systems. This study adopts a process of requirements engineering, (RE), to complement object oriented (OO) modeling using the Unified Modeling Language, (UML). The RE process generates structured layers of textual requirements at each level of development and is supported by the UML. It incorporates use case diagram and activity diagrams as the unified modeling language tool. The Key methodology adopted for providing a structured approach to the UML is revolutionary prototyping which focuses on vertical dimension approach. Using the vertical dimension in the evolutionary prototyping, the study, presents a logical detail of the data processing function of the system. All the coding used to develop the software is done in python programming language. The code developed in this study is tested by comparing cost of Solar PV and diesel generator, using specific load description of a household, located in Amawbia, Awka of Anambra state. Results of the test show that solar PV system is cost effective compared to diesel generator over a period of 30 years.Though the capital cost for the PV system is high (42.276% of total LCC) as compared to the capital cost of the diesel generator (0.88% of LCC), the cost of diesel and maintenance of the generator over the system study life is very high (75% of the total LCC cost and 19.08% of LCC respectively) compared to its solar PV counterpart (zero cost of energy and 11.576% of LCC respectively).