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Investigating the Effects of Design Choice and Application of Energy Technologies in Rural Developing Households Using an Integrated Systems Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Nordica A. MacCarty

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Kenneth Mark Bryden

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Paper No. DETC2016-59574, pp. V02AT03A050; 11 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2A: 42nd Design Automation Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5010-7
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Engineering system modeling and design tools are needed to help successfully provide appropriate and desirable energy technologies to the 2.7 billion people presently relying on inefficient and polluting solid fuels to meet their basic energy needs for cooking, heating, and lighting. To understand the impacts of technology design choices and applications, a previously-developed model was used to investigate the energy consumption and resulting environmental, economic, and social outcomes relative to the baseline situation for a rural village in Mali. Simulations were conducted to explore important considerations regarding potential energy technologies in terms of design choices such as usability, multi-functionality, cost, and durability; and application factors such as energy needs and fuel/device stacking, fuel supply, and the rebound effect. It was illustrated that the positive impacts of a new technology may be reduced significantly if the use of more polluting traditional devices must continue in parallel due to the auxiliary benefits offered by the three-stone fire. It was also shown that technologies must be provided at cost levels that offer outcomes more highly valued than investment costs in terms of payback period and income fraction in order to justify their cost to the user. And due to the realities of fuel and device stacking and the usability and suitability of different technologies to meet different energy needs, identification and disaggregation of the specific energy needs in a community are needed to select the most appropriate strategies to supply clean energy services and encourage their uptake by consumers.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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