Designing multi-period production and flow shop manufacturing systems with island microgrid operation
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Manufacturing industries consume one third of the global electricity. Over 70 percent of the electric power is generated by burning fossil fuels, resulting in climate change and depletion of natural resources. This research aims to address two fundamental challenges pertaining to manufacturing sustainability. First, how to model, design and optimize a carbon-neutral production system with intermittent power? Secondly, is it technically feasible and economically variable to deploy a wind- and solar-based island microgrid to power a multi-stage flow shop system? A two-stage, mixed integer programming model is formulated to minimize levelized cost of energy. We jointly optimize renewable generation capacity and flow shop production schedule considering environmental and facility constraints. The proposed model is tested using 11-year wind and weather data with nearly one million meteorological records. The results show that carbon-neutral operation is feasible and affordable for large scale manufacturing facilities if the capacity factor of local wind and solar generation exceeds 0.3 and 0.4, respectively. Solar power and battery storage can compete with wind had their current installation cost is cut off by 50 percent. Compared with flat rate net metering, time-of-use tariff stimulates the adoption of solar and battery storage use.