HRES and DHN application in remote island communities
: the case study of the Eye Peninsula in the Outer Hebrides

  • Giuseppe Petricca

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Research (awarded by UHI)


    This research shows potentially feasible applications of modern Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems (HRES) and District Heating Networks (DHN) in locations with the presence of fuel poverty and elevated fossil fuel consumption on the islands of the Outer Hebrides.
    A literature review of the state of the art of HRES and DHN technologies is provided, together with a local analysis of the current communities’ energy status and building energy performance indexes. The research continues with the description of the logic and mathematical processes behind the creation of a specifically designed and dedicated energy simulation model in both its offline and online versions.
    Three case studies, set in the Eye Peninsula on the Isle of Lewis, are then assessed using different Renewable Energy Sources. The results of the simulations are discussed and validated against the professional software HOMER Pro. An analysis of the research findings follows, together with concluding remarks and possible future implementations.
    The research outcome suggests that Combined Heat and Power and DHN application to a clustered housing scheme provides noticeable benefits, but there could be issues with the establishment of fuel supply chains and fuel storage. The application of Solar Photovoltaic and Energy Storage on a more widespread household distribution revealed poor performance in the case of low energy rated buildings. While potentially hindered by local restrictions, the introduction of Wind Turbines for the entire Eye Peninsula, paired with Solar Photovoltaic and Energy Storage, presented an optimal solution to exploit the most from the RES available in the area. However, factors such as poor household insulation must be considered and properly addressed before implementing any HRES/DHN solution.
    Date of Award8 Sept 2022
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of the Highlands and Islands
    SupervisorIain King (Supervisor) & Christopher MacLeod (Supervisor)

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