Alternative energy systems for Puerto Rico : analysis and comparison of anaerobic waste digestion
Author(s)Cuevas, Emil A. (Emil André Cuevas Meléndez)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Ernesto E. Blanco.
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Energy prices in Puerto Rico are increasing constantly, making evident the need for alternative energy sources. Several methods to produce power have been developed as alternatives to burning petroleum, such as solar energy generation, but these processes have not been successfully implemented in Puerto Rico because of the high initial costs and the inability to produce electricity at a cost lower than the current value. One possible solution to this problem is the anaerobic digestion system. Anaerobic digestion is a bio-chemical process in which complex organic material is broken down by microorganisms in a controlled anoxic environment. This system has two main outputs, the principal one being the decomposition of organic matter and reduction of solids contents in the material and the second one being the production of a biogas, which can be used to generate electricity. Another possible solution to the energy problem in Puerto Rico is wind energy. Wind energy generation systems harness the power of the wind with the aid of wind turbines on wind towers. These systems can generate large amounts of clean energy and could greatly help solve the problem in Puerto Rico.(cont.) The anaerobic digestion system and the wind energy generation system were researched and studied and the system fundamentals, components, processes, economics, and power outputs were determined. The systems were then compared to see which one of them would be more suitable for Puerto Rico. After careful analysis, anaerobic digestion was selected as the most suitable alternative energy system for Puerto Rico because of its energy generation capabilities and its positive environmental impact.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2006.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 29).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology