Integrated project of a smart microgrid allied with energy management: An initiative to reduce electrical energy costs


Braz. arch. biol. technol.




Abstract Electricity is undoubtedly one of the most important resources in the modern world. As the demand for electric energy increases, conventional resources that are transformed into electric energy are being exhausted, generating a need to search for alternative sources, resulting in a significant increase in energy costs. This study presents an integrated project of an intelligent microgrid and energy management aimed at reducing energy costs. At the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), electricity represents an annual cost of over BRL 13 million, which is the third largest operating expense of the university. In addition, the public education budget in Brazil has been decreased in recent years. Therefore, this study was conducted within the scope of UFPR and aimed to analyze three alternatives to reduce electric energy costs: i) demand management through an analysis of energy bills, ii) migration to the free energy market, and iii) the development of an in-house photovoltaic generation facility. A computational tool to optimize the contracted demand and simulate the annual savings with the free market and distributed generation projects was developed using Microsoft Excel. Payback, the net present value, and the internal rate of return were calculated. Finally, the economic viability of all alternatives was proven, with demand management demonstrating an economic potential of greater than BRL 500,000 per year, use of the free market saving more than BRL 300,000, and the developed in-house photovoltaic generation system achieving an economic impact of more than BRL 600,000 per year.

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