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Title: Energy Distribution Modeling for Assessment and Optimal Distribution of Sustainable Energy for On-Grid Food, Energy, and Water Systems in Remote Microgrids
Food, energy, and water (FEW) are essential for human health and economic development. FEW systems are inextricably interlinked, yet individualized and variable. Consequently, an accurate assessment must include all available and proposed FEW components and their interconnections and consider scale, location, and scope. Remote Alaska locations are examples of isolated communities with limited infrastructure, accessibility, and extreme climate conditions. The resulting challenges for FEW reliability and sustainability create opportunities to obtain practical insights that may apply to other remote communities facing similar challenges. By creating energy distribution models (EDMs), a methodology is proposed, and a tool is developed to measure the impacts of renewable energy (RE) on small FEW systems connected to the microgrids of several Alaska communities. Observing the community FEW systems through an energy lens, three indices are used to measure FEW security: Energy–Water (EW), Energy–Food (EF), and Sustainable Energy (SE). The results indicate the impacts of RE on FEW infrastructure systems are highly seasonal, primarily because of the natural intermittence and seasonality of renewable resources. Overall, there is a large potential for RE integration to increase FEW security as well as a need for additional analysis and methods to further improve the resiliency of FEW systems in remote communities.  more » « less
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