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OPTIMIZATION OF HYBRID POWER SYSTEMS USING HOMER

1. Introduction:

Nowadays, the mankind is living on energy crisis. The most optimist forecasts reveal the fact

that the main classic energy resources (oil and natural gas) will be exhausted until 2050. Also,

the combustion causes the greenhouse effect which will determine an apocalyptical scenario in

the next (80-100) years. In this scenario, the only solution is finding and using new energy

resources, inexhaustible and clean, which will substitute in the next 50 years the current

resources based on fossil fuels.

The growing share of renewable energy production is predictable but depends both on reducing

the production costs and on finding new electrical energy storage solutions. This will ensure the

injection into the power system of large quantities of renewable energy. Even more, the

legislation regarding environment protection imposes the usage of this kind of energy. In March

2007, a European agreement was signed, which impose the reduction of CO2emission with

20% until 2020 and 50% until 2050, but also using the bio-fuels with a share of 10%.

2. Renewable energy used for residential consumers

Wind energy is used by the wind turbines, which nowadays have rated powers up to 3 MW. The

investments in this area are growing day by day, wind energy being used by consumers in rural

and extra-urban areas with important wind potential.

3. Description of HOMER software – an optimal analysis tool

Homer (Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewals) was developed by NREL (National

Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado USA), as a work platform for optimal selection of

independent, interconnected or distributed power sources for consumers, connected or not

connected to the public grid.

The processed information by HOMER refers to:

power sources: photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, small hydropower plants, diesel

generators, biomass, biogas, fuel cells, public grid;

energy storage: hydrogen, batteries;

consumers: daily and annual load curves, water

Pumping, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Using HOMER involves the following steps:

- In the initial phase, all the technical possible combinations for supplying the consumers using

the specified power sources are determined. Next, the energy balance for 8760 h/year and all

the possible alternatives to provide the energy are determined;

- In the second phase, for every alternative a full economical estimation (considering all the

expensed regarding the initial investments, maintenance, repairing, modernization, interests

and benefits) is computed.

- The third phase optimizes economically the proposed solutions and presents them in

ascending order of costs per life cycle;

- In the fourth phase, sensitivity indexes of the results considering the variations of the input

data are computed.

Finally, from the presented results, the user can decide which the best solution to supply the

consumers is.

4. Case study using HOMER

For the case study, a medium size extra-urban residential area in Coimbatore, Peelamedu

(11.0183° N, 76.9725° Coimbatore) is considered. Each house accommodates 3-4 persons and

has an installed electrical power of 5 kW. For all the considered area, the primary load is

scaled to an annual average of 1250kWh/d and a peak of 150kW and the deferrable load scaled

to an annual average of 2.83kWh/d and a peak of 100kW.

Load Consumption(kWh/yr) Fraction

AC primary load 450,080 74%

Deferrable load 1,035 0%

Electrolyzer load 159,604 26%

Total 610,719 100%

Fig 1.Load details for a day

Fig 2.Seasonal profile of the primary load.

Fig 3.Monthly profile of deferrable load.

5. Resources.

The HOMER software can generate the clearness index from the solar radiation data according

to the latitude of the place has been chosen. If the solar radiation data is not available,

clearness index can also be used to generate the solar radiation data. Therefore, either the

clearness index or the solar radiation data can be used to represent the solar resource input, as

long as the data of latitude is available to the HOMER software.

Month Daily solar radiation (kWh/m2/day) Wind speed (m/s) at 10m

Jan 5.459 3.650

Feb 6.375 3.190

Mar 6.746 3.290

Apr 6.502 3.230

May 5.720 3.810

Jun 4.673 5.520

Jul 4.503 5.530

Aug 4.592 5.020

Sep 5.123 3.090

Oct 4.809 3.000

Nov 4.811 3.210

Dec 5.054 4.060

Fig: solar resource of peelamedu.

Fig: wind resource of peelamedu.

6. System Components.

1.Photovoltaic Array In order to optimize the PV array ,PV of sizes

250kW,500kW and 750kW are considered

2.Wind turbines To optimize the wind requirements, NEPC

wind turbines (6 numbers)are included in the

power system

3.Fuel Cell Fuel cells with 50 kg capacity are considered

to meet the requirements. The fuel input to the

system is liquid hydrogen

4.Battery Batteries with string numbers 10,15,20,25 and

each string having 19 batteries are connected

to supply the bus requirement of 228v

5.Converter Converters with capacity 150 kW are used for

dc/ac conversions

6.Electrolyser The electrolyzer unit of sizes 100 and 150kW

are included to store the fuel and supply when

needed

7.Hydrogen Tank A hydrogen tank with 50 kg capacity is used

for the supply needs

The above number of units and the system components are connected and simulated to obtain

the best cost analysis and power analysis.

NEPC:

Since in India NEPC is one of the commonly used windmill generator we had simulated and

modeled our power system using NEPC. To add the windmill to the HOMER library we had

referred the power curve of NEPC 250kW wind generator.

Fig: Power curve of NEPC at 10m.

The lifetime of the same windmill is about 25 years and it includes a capital cost of

20830$.From the power curve initially we had included 4 quantity of NEPC. But when the

HOMER simulated the system it suggested including more number of Windmills. By this way

we had arrived with different architecture each having different configurations.

PHOTOVOLTAI C ARRAY

We all know that a country like India is having enough solar radiation throughout the year. So

we had considered Photovoltaic array of different power capacities. But the cost of these PV

array is very high .It poses constrain for us to have only limited number of PV’s. If we look at

any system from the simulation results the cost of PV is 50% of the initial cost if the system

includes PV array. The Lifetime of PV’s is also 25 years. The De-rating Factor, Slope,

Azimuthal angle differs from place to place and it is given as per the latitude and longitude.

Fig: Cost flow graph for a system with PV.

FUEL CELL:

Being a Hybrid Power System using only renewable resources instead of using fossil fuel

generators we had considered Fuel Cells. The source or the fuel for these Fuel Cells is from

Hydrogen Tank which stores the required Hydrogen (fuel). This Hydrogen is generated from

the electrolyzer. So we had to go in for connecting Electrolyzer also as a part of system

component.

CONVERTERS AND BATERRIES:

As in the system we considered DC components which serve the AC load converters must also

be considered. The value of the required converter and batteries varies as per the total amount

of AC/DC power generated. But those values can be easily found as every time HOMER

simulates it suggests the value of the each components that makes the system feasible.

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS:

Three power systems configurations using different energy storage technologies, namely

PV/Wind/Battery system,

PV/Fuel cell/Battery system.

PV/Wind/Fuel cell/Battery system

All the above systems are simulated in HOMER environment for optimal sizing which minimizes

the system cost. The simulation results provide comparison among these configurations.

Simulation studies are classified as: Case A (PV/Wind/Battery system), Case B (PV/Wind/Fuel

cell/Battery system), Case C (PV/Wind/Fuel cell/Battery system).

Case A (PV/Wind/Battery system)

System Architecture:

PV Array 500 kW

Wind turbine 6 NEPC

Battery 380 Vision 6FM200D

Inverter 150 kW

Rectifier 150 kW

Electrical:

Cost summary

Total net present cost $ 2,344,849

Levelized cost of energy $ 0.405/kWh

Operating cost $ 70,003/yr

Case B (PV/Fuel cell/Battery system)

System architecture:

PV Array 750 kW

Fuel Cell 50 kW

Battery 475 Vision 6FM200D

Inverter 150 kW

Rectifier 150 kW

Electrolyzer 150 kW

Hydrogen Tank 50 kg

Dispatch strategy Cycle Charging

Component Production(kWh/yr)

Fraction

PV array 845,992 42%

Wind

turbines

1,178,469 58%

Total 2,024,461 100%

Component

Production(kWh/yr) Fraction

PV array 1,268,987 91%

Fuel Cell 130,583 9%

Total 1,399,570 100%

Cost:

Total net present cost $ 3,421,929

Levelized cost of energy $ 0.593/kWh

Operating cost $ 80,138/yr

Case C (PV/Wind/Fuel cell/Battery system).

System architecture

PV Array 250 kW

Wind turbine 6 NEPC

Fuel Cell 50 kW

Battery 285 Vision 6FM200D

Inverter 150 kW

Rectifier 150 kW

Electrolyzer 100 kW

Hydrogen Tank 50 kg

Dispatch strategy Cycle Charging

Cost summary:

The operating cost here is the minimum of all the three configurations. So HOMER shows this

system architecture as the optimal system out of all possible combinations.

Total net present cost $ 1,969,859

Levelized cost of energy $ 0.342/kWh

Operating cost $ 50,251/yr

ELECTRICAL:

The total amount of load needed is shared by three sources and also compared to the previous

technologies 70% of load is met by Windmills and thus reducing the initial capital cost actually

incurred.

Component Production(kWh/yr) Fraction

PV array 422,996 25%

Wind turbines 1,178,469 70%

Fuel Cell 81,156 5%

Total 1,682,621 100%

Component Wise Analysis of the Optimal System:

PV:

Quantity Value Units

Rated capacity 250 kW

Mean output 48.3 kW

Mean output 1,159 kWh/d

Capacity factor 19.3 %

Total production 422,996 kWh/yr

Quantity Value Units

Minimum output 0.00 kW

Maximum output 295 kW

PV penetration 92.7 %

Hours of operation 4,413 hr/yr

Levelized cost 0.105 $/kWh

AC Wind Turbine: NEPC

Variable Value Units

Total rated capacity 1,500 kW

Mean output 135 kW

Capacity factor 8.97 %

Total production 1,178,469 kWh/yr

Variable Value Units

Minimum output 0.00 kW

Maximum output 1,449 kW

Wind penetration 258 %

Hours of operation 4,530 hr/yr

Levelized cost 0.00881 $/kWh

Fuel Cell

Quantity Value Units

Hours of operation 2,148 hr/yr

Number of starts 699 starts/yr

Operational life 18.6 Yr

Capacity factor 18.5 %

Fixed generation cost 8.75 $/hr

Marginal generation cost 0.00 $/kWh/yr

Quantity Value Units

Electrical production 81,156 kWh/yr

Mean electrical output 37.8 kW

Min. electrical output 0.00000000000000100 kW

Max. electrical output 50.0 kW

Quantity Value Units

Hydrogen consumption 4,869 kg/yr

Specific fuel consumption 0.060 kg/kWh

Fuel energy input 162,313 kWh/yr

Mean electrical efficiency 50.0 %

Battery

Quantity Value

String size 19

Strings in parallel 15

Batteries 285

Bus voltage (V) 228

Quantity Value Units

Nominal capacity 684 kWh

Usable nominal capacity 410 kWh

Autonomy 7.86 Hr

Lifetime throughput 261,345 kWh

Battery wear cost 0.610 $/kWh

Average energy cost 0.000 $/kWh

Quantity Value Units

Energy in 52,103 kWh/yr

Energy out 41,689 kWh/yr

Storage depletion 7.88 kWh/yr

Losses 10,406 kWh/yr

Annual throughput 46,610 kWh/yr

Expected life 5.61 Yr

Converter

Quantity Inverter Rectifier Units

Capacity 150 150 kW

Mean output 24 10 kW

Minimum output 0 0 kW

Maximum output 150 150 kW

Capacity factor 15.9 7.0 %

Quantity Inverter Rectifier Units

Hours of operation 4,788 1,957 hrs/yr

Energy in 232,823 108,129 kWh/yr

Energy out 209,541 91,910 kWh/yr

Losses 23,282 16,219 kWh/yr

HydrogenTank

Variable Value Units

Hydrogen production 4,909 kg/yr

Hydrogen consumption 4,869 kg/yr

Hydrogen tank autonomy 31.9 Hours

Emissions

Pollutant Emissions (kg/yr)

Carbon dioxide -49.7

Carbon monoxide 31.7

Unburned hydocarbons 3.51

Particulate matter 2.39

Sulfur dioxide 0

Nitrogen oxides 282

Sensitivity Analysis

A challenge that often confronts the system designer is uncertainty in key variables. Sensitivity

analysis can help the designer to understand the effects of uncertainty and make good design

decisions despite the uncertainty. A sensitivity analysis can be performed by entering multiple

values for a particular input variable. HOMER repeats its optimization process for each value of

that variable. An input variable for which you have specified multiple values is called a

sensitive variable, and many sensitive variables can be defined. A sensitivity analysis can be

referred to as one-dimensional if there is a single sensitive variable. If there are two sensitive

variables, it is a two-dimensional sensitivity analysis, and so on. HOMER's has the most

powerful graphical capabilities which is developed to help and examine the results of sensitivity

analyses of two or more dimensions.

Since Avg.Wind Speed of Coimbatore is too low if the same system is to be implemented in

nearby area where there is large amount of wind available we had included the Sensitivity

analysis of Avg.Wind Speed Vs Global Solar Energy.

Challenges Faced:

When performing a sensitivity analysis on the load, many sizes of each equipment type must be

considered to meet the range of loads evaluated. To reduce the computation times HOMER runs

were performed in an iterative process. Initially, the optimization search space considered only

a few component sizes over a large range. Similarly, the sensitivity analyses covered a large

range with few points. This helped to decrease the initial run-time. With each successive run,

more options and variables were added to increase the resolution and fill in the search and

sensitivity spaces.

Obtaining data for analyses such as these is always challenging. This is especially true for the

wide variety of windmills that are commercially available. It is often hard to know a priori

which inputs deserve a lot of effort getting precise data. Rough estimates of variables, such as

O&M cost, lifetime, and part-load efficiency, can be entered into the program. A HOMER

sensitivity analysis on these variables can then inform the user of the value of improving the

accuracy of that input variable.

Glossary:

1. Salvage present value or the recovery value: The net value of the equipment used at the

end of the system's service life. The salvage or the residual value of components is based

on the possibilities of alternative uses at the end of the project lifetime.

2. Feasible system: A system that satisfies the specified constraints.

3. Levelized cost of energy: The average cost of producing one kilowatt-hour of electricity,

including capital, replacement, fuel, operating and maintenance costs.

4. Maximum annual capacity shortage: The percentage of the yearly total load that is

allowed to go unserved by the system.

5. Net present cost: The present value of the cost of installing and operating the system over

the lifetime of the project (also referred to as lifecycle cost).

6. Optimal system type: The combination of power-generation technologies with the lowest

net present cost.

7. Renewable energy fraction: The portion of a system’s total electrical production that

originates from renewable power sources.

8. Search space: The set of all system configurations that HOMER evaluates.

9. Sensitivity analysis: An investigation into the extent to which changes in certain inputs

affect a model’s outputs.

10. System type: A combination of power-generation technologies.

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