Electrical & Electronics Engineering

Development of Software for Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Solar Photovoltaic and Diesel Generator Systems in Nigeria


In choosing a 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 the 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 a 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 evolutionary prototyping which focuses on the 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 a python programming language. The code developed in this study is tested by comparing the cost of Solar PV and diesel generators, using a 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 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).


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