Energy optimization: surplus management and expansion of the photovoltaic installation at AkzoNobel Vilafranca


Marcet Recolons, Lucas


The site of AkzoNobel located in Vilafranca del Penedès has a photovoltaic installation on the roof of the building with an output power of 330 kW, which is under the self-consumption modality: “self-consumption without energy surplus”. Following the Spanish regulation, this installation must have a power regulator device, which sets the generation to the consumption. This way, it is guaranteed that additional electricity is not injected into the distribution grid.
Being under this self-consumption modality leads the company to a yearly energy wastage of 74 MWh, equivalent to the consumption of 22 houses in Spain. However, this problem only arises during the weekends and national holidays, when the consumption of the site is lower than the output power of the photovoltaic installation, limiting the production of the panels to the consumption of the site. A thorough study has been carried out, analyzing all the self-consumption modalities options (selling the surplus in the day-ahead market and collective self-consumption), as well as adding storage units. The final decision is based on technical, economic and environmental parameters.
Nevertheless, the whole capacity of the photovoltaic installation is used during the working days because the electricity consumption of the site is notably higher than the production of the photovoltaic installation, leaving room for an expansion. The ideal conditions and the extra electricity generation required for the new photovoltaic installation have been analyzed, leading to a full-scale design and simulation of the expansion. The economic and environmental study is developed for the two possible scenarios: the site changes the self-consumption modality, or it does not change it, increasing the surplus during the non-working days.
Moreover, a third scenario is analyzed where both projects are implemented at the same time. This is indeed the recommendation made to AkzoNobel Vilafranca to get a lower payback, drastically reduce the CO2eq emissions and save time. This way, everything is carried out once, avoiding additional installation modifications and administrative procedures, which are highly demanding.
Last but not least, the development of the thesis has led to three additional projects, that are currently being analyzed and might be executed in the near-by future.



Pou Ibar, Oriol
Galimany Petit, Foix


IQS SE - Undergraduate Program in Chemical Engineering