4, OCTOBER 2011


MW Resource Assessment Model for a Hybrid Energy Conversion System With Wind and Solar Resources
Subhadarshi Sarkar, Student Member, IEEE, and Venkataramana Ajjarapu, Fellow, IEEE
Abstract—The combined utilization of renewables such as solar and wind energy is becoming increasingly attractive. Proper methods need to be employed that consider the inherent variability of these two technologies while determining the performance of a wind–solar hybrid energy conversion system (ECS). In this paper, a stochastic approach has been utilized to develop the megawatt resource assessment model (MWRAM) of a wind–solar hybrid ECS at any selected location. The parameters required to define the probabilistic models have been computed from site-specific data using the maximum likelihood estimation method. The wind portion consists of several interconnected wind turbines while the solar component is a parabolic trough solar thermal electric generating system. Different applications of the model to assess resource benefits including capacity factors and reserve requirements from effective utilization of both wind and solar energy have been explored at different levels with varying wind–solar proportions. Index Terms—Capacity factors, energy conversion, maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), power system planning, solar energy, stochastic processes, wind energy.

I. INTRODUCTION HE growing concern over environmental degradation resulting from combustion of fossil fuels and fluctuating oil prices has raised awareness about alternative energy options [1], [2]. Solar and wind energy are nondepletable, site-dependent, nonpolluting, and potential sources of alternative energy options. The wind and solar generation rely purely on weather conditions; the highest level of energy injected into the electricity grid can occur at times when the cost of the electricity is also high. This will improve the high capital intensive installation cost required for such renewable energy generation systems to be recovered earlier and hence improve future investment opportunities. Hybrid wind and solar energy conversion systems (ECS) use two renewable energy sources thus improving the system efficiency and power reliability and thus reducing the reserve requirements (for grid connected applications) or storage requirements (for standalone systems). The power output of a
Manuscript received June 23, 2010; revised February 18, 2011; accepted March 24, 2011. Date of publication April 29, 2011; date of current version September 21, 2011. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Award 0829025. The authors are with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 USA (e-mail:; Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online at Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TSTE.2011.2148182


hybrid ECS is not dispatchable by system operators as conventional generation; it depends on a number of external natural factors which vary over a wide range. A major limitation of the wind and solar options is their inherent variability and dependence on weather and climactic conditions. However, it may be possible to avoid the emergency circumstances surrounding fluctuations in renewable energy production like sudden drops or surges by evaluating complementary characteristics of some renewables. The complementary nature of the wind and solar resource in North America was examined in [3] and [4]. The weather patterns dictated by wind and solar resources appear to possess such traits and, therefore, may help alleviate not only the dominance of convention fossil fuel plants, but also motivate reliable power system operation from renewables. A mixture of solar and wind energy into a hybrid ECS could mitigate their individual fluctuations and increase overall energy output, thus reducing the energy storage or reserve requirements significantly [5]. In [6], correlation among wind and solar data against the electricity load demand for an entire year for the same geographical location was analyzed which concluded that a combined resource can effectively deliver energy to the electricity grid when load demand experiences peaks, hence furthering the cause of further integration of wind and solar sources with the electricity grid. Much research effort has been made towards modeling of renewable energy resources—wind standalone, solar standalone, or hybrid wind/solar energy systems for reliability assessment and economic viability [7]–[10]. In [11], two probability models for wind energy systems, i.e., Markov model and capacity outage probability model were proposed. In [12] and [13], wind generators were modeled as multistate units using wind turbine power curves and wind speed profile. In [14] and [15], renewable energy sources were modeled as energy limited units using some form of load modification techniques. In [16], the correlation between load and renewable resources was used to model renewable energy resources. Chronological time series simulation was used to determine reliability indices like loss of load probability (LOLP) and loss of power supply probability (LPSP) for standalone solar-photovoltaic (PV) systems in [17] and [18]. Monte Carlo simulations were used to assess the performance of grid-connected wind energy systems in [19] and [20]. The performance assessment of a standalone wind energy system with a diesel generator backup was studied in [21] and [22] while with a battery storage was explored in [23]. In [24], the authors employed statistical models for optimal selection of solar modules for a site based on capacity factors. In [25] and [26], a closed-form solution approach was developed

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In this paper. MODELING OF RENEWABLE RESOURCES AT A GIVEN LOCATION Fig. This work presents a systematic probabilistic planning approach for the integration of wind and solar resources together. In [30]. height above ground. they have mostly been directed towards standalone technologies coupled with conventional fuel sources. Also. Due to the stochastic nature and inherent variability of the wind speed and solar radiation. Though there have been previous instances of applying stochastic models for modeling the energy output of renewables. A solar thermal power plant consists of a conventional power block and a solar receiver system which acts as the fuel source and substitutes the conventional steam generator. The problem of performance assessment is then reduced to working with these models.e. This method of “stratified fitting” captures the seasonal or monthly as well as hourly wind speed and solar irradiance variations. OCTOBER 2011 for evaluating LPSP of standalone renewable energy systems. Solar thermal Fig. The wind and solar megawatt (MW) power output are treated as random variables which are modeled using appropriate probability density functions (pdfs). The work presented here aims to quantify the resource potential of a site for a hybrid ECS setup for planning purposes. Unlike the “distributed” application for solar PV. It varies with the time of day. The method of convolution introduces some errors due to the assumption of independence between wind and solar power random variables. . The load was assumed to be uniformly distributed. A wind ECS and solar thermal ECS are connected in parallel through proper electrical interface with a control unit. In order to reach economic competitiveness. Instead of fitting a single distribution model for the whole year. consistent flow. For most renewable resources. Most solar thermal systems are built around modules of 50–200 MW. solar thermal is inherently a utility-scale technology whose near-term cost estimates are much lower than those for solar PV [32]. General layout of hybrid ECS. the load and renewable energy resources were considered independent. Section VII sums up the work with conclusions. Both the distributions are modeled using actual measured data and the model parameters are computed using the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) method. a numerical probabilistic model using convolution was developed for hybrid ECS. This combined hybrid ECS meets a local load. The study period (i. Section II deals with the general resource assessment. As long as both of the units are under the purview of the same control center. appropriate models are introduced which determine the potential power extracted from both wind and solar resources at a given specified location. 2. and type of terrain. capacity levels due to hardware failures of the wind turbines and solar modules were also considered. power plants use the solar direct normal irradiance (DNI) to convert solar energy into heat with the help of focusing receivers. The rest of the paper can be classified as follows. The transformation from physical terms to MW resource is explained in Section IV while the combination of the two is explained in Section V. 1. NO. the proposed hybrid design should be based on a probabilistic approach. which is then used to drive a thermodynamic cycle and produce electricity. and Section III details the resource modeling of individual components and parameter estimation. followed by an Appendix and Acknowledgment. season. This control unit may be connected (for grid-connected ECS) or not connected (for standalone ECS) with the rest of the electrical grid. In [29]. The hybrid ECS may consist of several wind turbines (wind farm) and several concentrating reflectors (solar park). The interaction with the grid may be considered as bidirectional which means that excess of energy generated by the hybrid ECS is conditionally supplied to the grid or deficit of energy will be drawn from the grid in time of low generation in order to cater to the local demand. they are constructed in regions of solar resources of more than 2000 kWh/m per year [33]. we consider fitting multiple Weibull and Beta distributions. Section VI presents the analysis and few applications of the model.. Fig. Also. III. while the solar cloud cover data follow Beta distribution.384 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY. closed form analytical expressions to determine energy index of reliability (EIR) for a hybrid wind/solar generation system were developed. it does not focus on energy forecasting or operations. the energy availability and load distribution are correlated to each other [30]. The developed approach was extended to the utility-interactive renewable energy generation system in [27] and [28]. the operators can utilize the synergy of the two energy resources to maintain energy balance and optimally allocate energy reserves. It is well established that wind speed follows Weibull distribution. 1 shows a general schematic of the hybrid ECS. VOL. The performance of the hybrid ECS under study will be assessed by employing suitable probabilistic models. 4. it is mathematically tedious to account for multiple wind farms or solar parks with this method. GENERAL RESOURCE ASSESSMENT Wind resource evaluation is the most crucial element in projecting turbine performance at a given site. The classes of wind power density for two standard wind measurement heights 10 and 50 m are shown in [31]. II. each being called a time frame . In general. the wind resource is very rarely a steady. sites with a wind power class rating of 4 or higher are preferred for large-scale wind plants. 2 shows the flowchart of the various steps involved in building the hybrid ECS MW resource assessment model (MWRAM). The energy available in a wind stream can be considered to be proportional to the cube of its speed. 24 hours in a single day in different seasons) is divided into various segments.

within each of these plots. Using the power law shearing up assumption does nothing to remove this behavior. Prior research [36] has shown that the wind speed profile at a given location most closely follows a Weibull distribution over time. From (4). MWRAM steps for a hybrid ECS. the random variable sumed to be characterized by a Beta distribution with shape parameters and [37]. The wind speed data collected at any height can be extrapolated to other heights on the basis of the roughness height of the terrain. this extrapolation approach has some flaws [35]. Estimation of Model Parameters The influence of correct parameter estimation is demonstrated in [38] for a wind ECS. This technique is much less reliable for hub heights of 80 m and higher. curves of shape factors 3 and 6 are drawn. C. curves of scale factors 5 and 10 are drawn and Fig.5. The decreasing influence of surface roughness on wind shear and increasing influence of lower atmospheric features such as low-level jets and thermal circulations makes simple extrapolation prone to large errors. as (4) is a random variable which accounts for the cloud where cover and other insolation reducing phenomena during the time interval . where Fig. Solar Resource Modeling of unit area of solar collector The solar insolation can be expressed in terms of the maximum possible value for that time interval. a similar effect can be assumed for solar ECS as well. Thus the wind can be asDuring the time frame . Thus. and is the Hellman exponent which depends upon location and shape of the terrain and the stability of the air. the resultant performance assessment might be off the mark. This work considers actual field measured/modeled data and computes hourly parameters for the wind and solar pdfs using the MLE method. the wind speed random variable can be assumed to be characterized by a Weibull distribution with a scale parameter and shape parameter . 80 or 100 m) as a consequence of the turbulent transport of momentum being very different between night and day in response to the radiative heating/cooling of the surface. The probability distribution and cumulative distribution are given by (6) (7) is the regularized incomplete beta function. 3(b) shows the Beta pdf with shape factors of 1 and 1. During the time frame . Wind Resource Modeling Power output of a wind turbine generator at a specific site depends on the wind speed at hub height and speed characteristics of the turbine.SARKAR AND AJJARAPU: MWRAM FOR A HYBRID ECS WITH WIND AND SOLAR RESOURCES 385 speed data should come from a reliable source which considers hub heights of 80 or 100 m. However. we get (5) A. the diurnal behavior at most locations is very different when comparing 10 m to hub height (say. . 3(a) shows the Weibull pdf with shape factors of 2 and 3. The probability distribution and cumulative distribution are given by (2) (3) B. If the parameter assumptions are wrong. A simple approach to consider the effects of hub height variation is by using the power-law equation [34]. The goal of MLE is to find parameter Fig. Since the wind speed is a random variable. within each of these plots. Most of the existing literature dealing with hybrid ECS modeling assumes certain parameters to represent the wind and solar profile. long-term historical and meteorological data are required to determine the wind energy potential of a site. then even if the model is correct. as shown in (1) (1) and are the wind speeds at hub and reference where heights and (generally 10 m). 2. Wind speed is uncertain and stochastic in nature. respectively.

. 4 shows a typical wind turbine power curve. 3. 5) From Step 4. . we use the Newton–Raphson method as follows: (11) where A. . 6) If Step 5 is not satisfied. likelihood function required to estimate the wind Weibull and solar Beta distribution parameters is built as follows: The simulation procedure used to solve the parameters of Weibull and Beta distributions includes the following steps: 1) Take the historical data of and for . . the calculated values define the stochastic models and contain in them the information of the terrain. the power increases with the cubic power as the wind increases from to the rated wind speed [40]. Typical wind turbine power curve. . and are fixed for a particular type of wind turbine. (a) Typical Welbull pdf. Thus. where and are maximum error allowed. 2. and in (10) to calculate . . check for tolerance error as follows or . Given a finite set of wind and solar measurements for each time interval . 4) Using (11). 3) Take . 2) Choose the appropriate initial values of and . and . solve for . Wind Power Output Modeling Once the uncertain nature of the wind is characterized by a random variable. according to MLE theory. . and Then go to Step 3. for a typical wind ECS. the required parameters. The rated power is produced when the speed varies from to the cutout wind speed at which the turbine is shut down for safety reasons. OCTOBER 2011 Fig. Fig. likelihood values can be solved by the likelihood . 4. wind. NO. the power output characteristics can be assumed to be such that it starts generating power at the cut-in speed . . . and solar profiles of the site under consideration relevant to MW generation. Fig. . IV. say) to wind power (MW). location. (b) Typical Beta pdf. then (8) (9) In (8) and (9). (b) Sample Beta pdfs for factors of 1 (right top) and 1. each with factors of 5 and 10. . VOL. Ignoring minor nonlinearities. . (a) Sample Weibull pdfs for factors of 2 (left top) and 3 (left bottom). values such that the theoretical probability of the sample data is maximized [39]. 4. then to calculate the Jacobian Matrix .386 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY. each with factors of 3 and 6.5 (right bottom). MODELING OF INDIVIDUAL MW RESOURCES (10) In order to solve (10). namely . and . . The parameters . the output power from the wind ECS can also be characterized as a random variable through a transformation from wind speed (m/s.

SARKAR AND AJJARAPU: MWRAM FOR A HYBRID ECS WITH WIND AND SOLAR RESOURCES 387 Let there be number of turbines. (15) where gives the maximum possible value of the solar power output for that time interval.. The pdf for the solar thermal ECS power output during the time interval can be obtained by the application of the transformation theorem (Appendix A). cloud cover. Thus. But the main influencing factor is . From (13) and (17). the main task lies in the computation of the parameters in order to model the real power output. Solar Power Output Modeling For a typical solar thermal ECS. Layout of solar thermal ECS. Then. The pdf for the wind ECS power output during the time interval can be obtained by the application of the transformation theorem (Appendix A) [41]. Though the wind and solar energy profiles over the course of a day. Let the solar collector area be the power output of a solar collector (MW) is given by Without any loss of generality. 5. . we get the following: For nighttime intervals (16) For daytime intervals : (13) Here (17) Thus (16) and (17) give the analytical expression of the variation of the MW output of the solar thermal ECS for different time intervals . we get the pdfs of the power output from the wind and solar units. ambient temperature.e. season. The parameters and denote the collector efficiency and the net efficiency of the heat exchange. the time intervals can be assumed to be of 1 hour duration. In order to get an estimated value of the actual combined MW output. the power output characteristics can be assumed to be a function of the insolation. .. or year are dependent on each other. (18) : : (14) Thus. they can be assumed to be independent of each other in time frames of hour each. 1). i. 5.e. (13) and (14) give the analytical expression of the variation of the MW output of the wind ECS for different time intervals . etc. i. is basically equal to the sum of the MW output of wind unit and solar unit (see Fig. could be either a daytime interval or nighttime interval. HYBRID PLANT MODEL The MW generated by the hybrid system at time interval . Then the maximum possible rated power of the wind farm is given be . the insolation [42]. which are Here fixed for a particular kind of turbine with fixed values of . as shown in Fig. Thus we have the following: for for otherwise. we compute the first moment or the expected value of the hybrid output (Appendix B) (19) Thus the MW output of a hybrid ECS at a given location for a given hour in a given season can be written as some function of several parameters which are known or can be computed (20) For a given wind farm with a known number of wind turbines with known parameters and given solar park with known collector area and components with known efficiencies . steam turbine and the electric generator. (12) Fig. B. Here. respectively. and . and . V. respectively. The performance assessment of the hybrid ECS can then be explored using MWRAM as defined in (20).

B. The seasonal hourly load profile provided hourly peak load as a percentage of the daily peak load. Individual and Hybrid ECS Output Using the proposed algorithm. The rest of the load demand is considered to be satisfied by the conventional generating systems. summer. VOL. each referring to a particular hourly interval for the entire season. From these data. the hourly wind speed and solar irradiance data were clustered and the MLE parameters were computed for each hour of the data. Distribution of wind and solar power for Site A for 1100–1200 hours in summer. locational load profile was developed after analyzing three years of actual load data from [45] and [46].. A thermal unit is represented by a two-state Markov model [47]. The site locations details are shown in Table I. and fall—which are represented by any day within that season.388 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY. The available wind speed and solar irradiation data are then utilized to generate typical frequency distributions for each hour in each season . and 30% were simulated to investigate the effects of increasing renewable energy penetration level. . 2. the distributions of the wind and solar power. there are time segments. NO. MWRAM can help in calculating this ratio. At each penetration level. Wind data from NREL WWSIS [43] has the wind speed data modeled at hub height of 100 m by 3Tier using the WRF Mesoscale model while solar data from NSRDB [44] is the most comprehensive collection of solar radiation data (i. For our study. three sites were selected having both good solar and wind potential. direct normal.e. . In order to determine the hourly hybrid ECS output. C. 6 (the two arrows indicate the two impulses corresponding to W1 and W2. The day representing each season is further subdivided into 24 1-hour time segments. defined as the ratio of the total annual energy produced by the hybrid ECS and the total annual energy consumed. we compute the maximum likelihood estimated parameters for the Weibull and the Beta distribution for each of the 24 1-hour segments for 1 day for each of the four seasons. 2) Test System and Load Data: For Sites A. The correlation coefficient is a measure of the correlation between two variables. global horizontal. thus we get a matrix which contains the vectors . For Site B. 20%. OCTOBER 2011 TABLE I CANDIDATE LOCATION SITES TABLE II WIND–SOLAR MIX CONSIDERED AT EACH PENETRATION LEVEL Fig. For both. It should be noted that the higher . 4. Combined Correlation of Wind–Solar Resource With Electricity Load Demand It is very important to assess the resource availability and understand the correlation among solar and wind energy availability and the electricity load demand for a particular location and its local grid. and . It can be observed that the wind power generation has higher probability at lower values of power while the solar generation has higher probability of producing closer to rated capacity. Hence. where denotes season and hour . Using these parameters. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION A. . giving a value between and inclusive and is widely used as a measure of the strength of linear dependence between two variables. VI. The power output from wind or solar thermal generator unit is determined by the wind speed and solar DNI regime at the candidate location. 6. and C. respectively. The correlation coefficient between any two data series and is defined as (21) where (22) (23) and are the mean values and and are the variance of the data series. B. Data Collection 1) Historical Wind Speed and Solar DNI Data: The wind speed and solar DNI data have been accessed from [43] and [44]. it is necessary to determine the ratio of the wind and solar units in the total rated capacity. spring. and diffuse horizontal) over a period of time. They show the variability of the power output over the range of the power with the corresponding associated probabilities. after doing the transformation are shown in Fig. three years of concurrent data (2004–2006) have been analyzed and divided into four seasons—winter. . the computed MLE parameters for hour 11–12 for summer are . respectively). Various penetration levels at 10%. . the wind and solar units contribute at various ratios as shown in Table II. respectively.

e.. Case III). and C for 20% penetration level. 2) Reserve Variation Analysis: The grid-connected hybrid ECS is connected to the local load and the rest of the electrical grid through a control center.e. B. the solar and load are positively related (this is expected because when solar reaches it peak. This implies that as the amount of renewable energy in the total generation mix increases. 8. It can be observed that combining solar thermal power plants with wind farms in the three sites lowers the overall annual capacity factor as compared to a wind standalone. combined power.e. 9 shows the variation of the reserve requirements for Sites A. the electricity generated will be much more valuable to the utility since it is generated more often during the time periods when the utility needs it most. 8 shows the average annual capacity factors for the three site locations. 7 gives values for each season for the correlation coefficient between solar. The two systems must be coordinated to get maximum benefit from their combination as long as they share the point of interconnection and feed the same electricity grid. the utility needs to accommodate for similar increase in MW reserves. and C. and C. the value of the correlation coefficient. Fig. 7. A per-unit system was used to present the combined availability of the two resources and it was assumed that the wind generation system and the solar generation system have same rated maximum power output (i. i. It can be observed that Cases II and III give the minimum value of reserve requirements for the different sites. The top half is when .. This would help in the determination of suitable locations to set up hybrid ECS. wind. The combined output has positive correlation throughout. the hybrid ECS is exporting power to the grid and the bottom half is when . Applications of MWRAM 1) Capacity Factor Calculation: The capacity factor (CF) can be used as a measure of efficiency/energy output capability of power plants.e. B. Site B shows strongest complementarity among all three sites. Fig. based on a fixed wind/solar ratio and for a desired penetration level. . For all sites. One is mainly interested in the average amount of MW reserve that needs to be maintained to cater to the demand. Between wind and solar. it was found that the level of renewable energy penetration marginally affects the percentage of MW reserves required. the higher the similarity between the two data sequences. Fig. The ratio of the wind and solar energy components in the hybrid ECS is critical because of varying energy densities and cost factors involved. during peak electrical load periods. 9. It can be defined as Fig. Annual average capacity factors for Sites A. The described methodology can be used to determine this mix ratio so as to minimize the reserve requirements and hence ensure better load following. i. B. denotes the number of days in the season. the hybrid ECS is importing power from the grid. different candidate locations can be ranked according to capacity factors. i. Over different scenarios at 20% penetration level.. and a combined resource with the electricity load demand and also between wind and solar power profile. and load for Sites A. the three sites show different capacity factors. solar power. the wind and load appear somewhat complementary to each other.SARKAR AND AJJARAPU: MWRAM FOR A HYBRID ECS WITH WIND AND SOLAR RESOURCES 389 Fig. Also. The different levels of complementarity indicate the profound dependence of location on the siting of wind and solar systems. However. B.. Thus. Correlation coefficients among wind power. (24) The energy output can be computed using (25) where denotes the hybrid ECS energy output for season and hour . the load demand is also high). Mean percentage reserve requirements for Sites A. Fig. It is the responsibility of the control center to maintain energy balance at all times. the amount of MW is obviously different. and C. D.

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