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Design of a Hybrid Solar-Wind Power Plant Using Optimization
Karim Mousa
, Hamzah AlZu’bi
, Ali Diabat
Graduate Student, Masdar Institute of Science And Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE (kmousa@masdar.ac.ae)
Graduate Student, Masdar Institute of Science And Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE (halzubi@masdar.ac.ae)
Assistant Professor, Masdar Institute of Science And Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE (adiabat@masdar.ac.ae)
Although solar and wind energy are two of the most viable renewable energy sources, little research has been done onoperating both energy sources alongside one another in order to take advantage of their complementary characters. In this paper, we develop an optimal design for a hybrid solar-wind energy plant, where the variables that are optimized over include the number of photovoltaic modules, the wind turbine height, the number of wind turbines, and the turbine rotor diameter, and the goal is to minimize costs. Simulation studies and sensitivity analysis reveal that the hybrid plant is able toexploit the complementary nature of the two energy sources, and deliver energy reliably throughout the year.
: renewable energy, hybrid, wind turbines, solar, standalone
Among the wide range of problems facing our worldtoday, there is global consensus that greenhouse gas(GHGs) emissions have the largest negative impact onour environment. GHGs include carbon dioxide,methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. These gases helpmaintain the temperature of the earth at comfortablelevels for organisms, and a decrease in their levels wouldresult in a temperature that could be too low for us tosurvive. However, because GHGs allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere, but trap the heat radiated off the earth’ssurface, an increase in these emissions would result in anincrease of the planet’s temperature, or global warming,to levels that could be fatal to living organisms. Manyscientists also believe that the increase in naturaldisasters is fueled by climate change, since atmosphericand oceanic patterns shift as the Earth’s temperatureincreases.The Kyoto protocol, a part of the United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change, wasnegotiated as part of a global effort to reduce GHGemissions. The protocol establishes legally bindingcommitments on all member nations to reduce their GHG emissions. To allow economies to meet their emissions restrictions, the protocol introduced three“flexible mechanisms”: the Joint Implementationmechanism allows countries to carry out emissionsreduction projects in other countries to gain emissioncredits, the Clean Development mechanism also allowscountries to gain emissions credits by financingemissions reduction projects in developing countries,while the third mechanism, Emissions Trading (alsoknown as carbon trading), provides an incentive for governments and companies to reduce their emissions.The financial incentives, along with carbon-emissionlimits, are not the only factors pushing governments inthe direction of renewable and clean energy. The scarcityof fossil fuels and their rapid depletion worldwide hasmade it necessary to search for alternative energysources that would meet the current levels of demand. Inaddition, much of the world’s population lives in remoteor rural areas, which are sparsely populated andgeographically isolated. Due to the low demand, suchregions are not connected to the grid. To develop suchareas, an efficient as well as financially feasible methodneeds to be found to provide these areas with electricity.It has been suggested that renewable energy sources may be well-suited to this task.Renewable energy sources such as solar energy and windenergy have been deemed clean, inexhaustible,unlimited, and environmental friendly [1]. Suchcharacteristics have attracted the energy sector to userenewable energy sources on a larger scale [2]. However,all renewable energy sources have drawbacks. The onethat is common to wind and solar sources is their dependence on unpredictable factors such as weather andclimatic conditions. Fortunately, due to both sources’complementary nature, some of these problems can beaddressed by overcoming the weaknesses of one with thestrengths of the other [2]. This brings us to the hybridsolar-wind power plant concept.A system that brings together two sources of energy iscalled a hybrid system. The concept of having hybrid power stations is not new, but has gained popularity inrecent years [1]. Hybrid energy stations have proven to be advantageous for decreasing the depletion rate of fossil fuels, as well as supplying energy to remote ruralareas [3], without harming the environment.
Thus, a solar-wind power system that takes advantage of wind and solar energy’s complementary characteristicswould seem to be a viable idea. However, the difficulty brought about by combining two different energysources makes the hybrid system more difficult toanalyze. For this reason, there is a rich literaturededicated to modeling and designing hybrid energysources such as wind/solar power plants.
Yang et al. [2] studied hybrid wind/solar systems using battery banks and developed an optimal model for designing such systems. The stand-alone system wasdesigned to power a telecommunication station along thecoast of China. The slope angle of the photovoltaic (PV)array was studied to find the optimal power-producingangle, as well as the optimal values of other variablessuch as the number of wind turbines and batterycapacity. The annualized cost of the system wasminimized while meeting the specified loss of power supply probability (LPSP). The model was solved usinga genetic algorithm, and good complementarity betweenthe two energy sources was reported. Ekren et al. [4]studied an optimal sizing procedure for a similar systemin Turkey.Ahmed et al. [5] presented a hybrid system model thatincluded fuel cell generation along with wind and solar  power. The fuel cell system was used as a backupresource, where as the main energy sources were thesolar and wind systems. Results demonstrate that thesystem is reliable and can supply high-quality power tothe load, even in the absence of wind and sun. Onar et al.[6] also designed fuel cell systems hybridized with solar and wind energy which are well-suited to grid-independent applications.Yang et al. [7] used a genetic algorithm to develop anoptimal sizing method for a hybrid wind/solar systemthat optimizes its configurations with the use of battery banks. The optimal sizing method was then used tocalculate optimal system configurations that achieve agiven loss of power supply probability (LPSP) while atthe same time minimizing the annualized cost of thesystem (ACS).The feasibility of meeting the energy demand of aseawater greenhouse in Oman using a hybrid wind/solar energy system was assessed by Mahmoudi et al. [8] byanalyzing hourly wind speed and solar radiationmeasurements.Elhadidy and Shaahid [9] assessed the feasibility of  providing power to and meeting the load requirements of a typical commercial building using a hybrid solar-windenergy system; different combinations of wind energysystems, photovoltaic panels with battery storage, and adiesel backup energy system were investigated.The feasibility of a grid-independent hybrid wind/solar system for a particular region of Australia was studied byShakya et al. [10]; this design featured a compressedhydrogen gas storage system.Tina et al. [11] assessed the long-term performance of ahybrid wind/solar power system for both standalone andgrid-dependent applications by using a probabilisticapproach to model the uncertain nature of the load andresources.Dihrab and Sopian [1] proposed a hybrid PV/windsystem that would be used for grid-connectedapplications as a power source in three cities in Iraq. Asimulation of the model was carried out on MATLAB,where the input parameters were determined bymeteorological data from the three locations, as well asthe sizes of the wind turbines and the PV arrays. Their results showed that their hybrid system would providesufficient energy for villages in desert or rural areas.Kershman et al. [12] studied the design of a sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant powered by a hybridwind/solar system to be located on Libya's coast; the plant will be used to supply a village with potable water.Celik [13] proposed a novel method of sizing hybridwind/solar energy systems using battery storage thatincludes as design parameters both the fraction of timethat the system can satisfy the load and the cost of thesystem.Bakos and Tsagas [14] analyzed the technical andeconomic feasibility of using a grid-connected hybridwind/solar system to meet the energy demands of atypical residence in Xanthi, a city in Greece, throughelectrical and thermal energy production.Deshmukh and Deshmukh [15] discuss methods of modeling and designing hybrid renewable energysystems, and also issues involved in increasing the penetration of such systems.Borowy and Salameh [16] develop a graphicalconstruction technique for determining the optimal sizesof the battery bank and the PV array in a hybridwind/solar system.Only paired combinations of the threesubsystems were considered in the optimization process.Yang et al. [17,18] develop simulation models for ahybrid wind/solar system which are used to calculateoptimized combinations of PV module, wind turbine,
and battery bank parameters for a given loss of power supply probability (LPSP). Variables such as windturbine height and PV angle are not included in thestudy.In this paper, we study the design of a hybrid stand-alonesolar-wind power generation system that could be usedfor various applications such as supplying power to ruralareas. Variables considered in the design include thenumber of PV modules, the wind turbine height, thenumber of wind turbines, and the rotor diameter of theturbines. These variables are used to find the optimaldesign of a hybrid power generation system, with theobjective of maximizing power, while minimizing cost.
3. THE MODEL2.1 Notation: Parameters and Values
Table 1 summarizes the notation used in our model.Values for parameters are shown, and variables with a ‘?’as a value are the decision variables in our model.
Table 1: Parameters and Values
 Parameter Value Description
 Number of wind turbineC
1000$ Annual maintenance cost for wind turbineh Wind tower height (m)r Radius of wind turbine (m)C
50000$ Installation + Fabrication cost of wind turbine (steel cost not included)i 5% Real Interest rateffY
35 year Project lifetime N
 Number of solar cellsC
500$ Annual maintenance + cleaning cost for solar panelC
5000$ Solar panel capital cost + installation costrho 1.225 kg/m
Air density
0.45 Coefficient of performanceV
Wind speed (m/s)
50% Generator efficiency N
95% Gearbox bearing efficiency
Voc, V
Voltage for open circuitn 1< n <2 Ideality factor K 1.38*10
J/K Boltzmann constant
q Magnitude of the electron charge
Series resistance (ohm)I
Short circuit current (A)G, G
Solar radiation, W/m
T Temperature under standard conditions (K)
Constant parameters for PV module

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