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Applied Energy 86 (2009) 163169

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Optimal design and techno-economic analysis of a hybrid solarwind power

generation system
Yang Hongxing a,*, Zhou Wei a, Lou Chengzhi b
Renewable Energy Research Group, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
School of Environment Science and Technology, TianJin University, TianJin, China

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Solar energy and wind energy are the two most viable renewable energy resources in the world. Good
Received 30 January 2008 compensation characters are usually found between solar energy and wind energy. This paper recom-
Received in revised form 5 March 2008 mend an optimal design model for designing hybrid solarwind systems employing battery banks for cal-
Accepted 7 March 2008
culating the system optimum congurations and ensuring that the annualized cost of the systems is
Available online 1 May 2008
minimized while satisfying the custom required loss of power supply probability (LPSP). The ve decision
variables included in the optimization process are the PV module number, PV module slope angle, wind
turbine number, wind turbine installation height and battery capacity. The proposed method has been
Hybrid solarwind system
applied to design a hybrid system to supply power for a telecommunication relay station along south-
Annualized cost of system east coast of China. The research and project monitoring results of the hybrid project were reported, good
Genetic algorithm complementary characteristics between the solar and wind energy were found, and the hybrid system
. turned out to be able to perform very well as expected throughout the year with the battery over-dis-
charge situations seldom occurred.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction the resources and the load, thus eliminating the need for time-ser-
ies data, to assess the long-term performance of a hybrid system.
Alternative energy resources, such as solar energy and wind en- Yang et al. [3,4] have proposed an iterative optimization tech-
ergy, have attracted energy sectors to generate power on a large nique following the loss of power supply probability (LPSP) model
scale. A drawback, common to wind and solar options, is their for a hybrid solarwind system. From this iterative procedure, sev-
unpredictable nature and dependence on weather and climatic eral possible combinations of solarwind generation capacities
changes. Fortunately, the problems can be partially overcome by were obtained. The total annual cost for each conguration is then
integrating the two resources in a proper combination to form a calculated and the combination with the lowest cost is selected to
hybrid system, using the strengths of one source to overcome the represent the optimal mixture.
weakness of the other. However, the complexity, brought about In the optimization methods described above, the minimization
by using of two different resources together, makes the hybrid sys- of system cost are normally implemented by employing probabil-
tems more difcult to analysis. ity programming techniques or by linearly changing the values of
Various optimization techniques, such as graphical construction corresponding decision variables, resulting in suboptimal solutions
method, probabilistic approach and iterative technique, have been and sometimes increased computational effort requirements. Also,
recommended by researchers to guarantee the lowest investment these sizing methodologies normally do not take into account
with full use of the solar system, wind system and battery bank. some system design characteristics, such as PV modules slope an-
A graphical construction technique for guring the optimum gle and wind turbine installation height, which also highly affect
combination of battery and PV array in a hybrid solarwind system the resulting energy production and system installation costs.
has been presented by Borowy and Salameh [1]. This kind of graph- In this paper, one optimal sizing model for stand-alone hybrid
ical methods, normally only two parameters (PV and wind turbine, solarwind system employing battery banks is developed based
PV and battery, or wind turbine and battery) were included in the on the concepts of loss of power supply probability (LPSP) and
optimization process. annualized cost of system (ACS). The decision variables included
Tina et al. [2] presented a probabilistic approach based on the in the optimization process are the PV module number, PV module
convolution technique to incorporate the uctuating nature of slope angle, wind turbine number, and also the wind turbine
installation height as well as the battery number. The conguration
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +852 2766 5863; fax: +852 2774 6164. that meets the system reliability requirements with minimum cost
E-mail address: (H. Yang). can be obtained by an optimization technique the genetic algo-

0306-2619/$ - see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
164 H. Yang et al. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 163169


ACS annualized cost of system, US$ g charging and discharging efciency

CRF the capital recovery factor f wind speed power law coefcient
f annual ination rate r hourly self-discharge rate
G solar radiation, W/m2
H height, m Subscripts
I current, A acap annualized capital cost
i and i0 the real and nominal interest rate amin annualized maintenance cost
k Boltzmann constant, 1.38  1023 J/K arep annualized replacement cost
LPSP loss of power supply probability bat battery
n ideality factor, 1 < n < 2 bh beam radiation on horizontal surface
P power, W bt beam radiation on tilt surface
q magnitude of the electron charge C cut-in
R resistance, ohm cap initial capital cost
SFF the sinking fund factor dt diffuse radiation on tilt surface
SOC battery state of charge o parameters under standard conditions
T temperature, K oc open-circuit
t time, h p parallel
V voltage, V proj project
v velocity, m/s PV photovoltaic
Y lifetime, year R rated
re reected
Greeks rep replacement
a, b, c constant parameters for PV module s series
a0 absorptivity sc short-circuit
b0 PV module slope angle, radians tt total radiation on tilt surface
e emissivity WT wind turbine

rithm (GA), which is generally robust in nding global optimal the PV array output. If a matrix of Ns  Np PV modules is consid-
solutions, particularly in multi-modal and multi-objective optimi- ered, the maximum power output of the PV system can be calcu-
zation problems. lated by
PPV Np  Ns  Pmodule  gMPPT  goth 2
2. Model of the hybrid system components
where gMPPT is efciency of the maximum power point tracking,
A hybrid solarwind power generation system consists of PV ar- although it is variable according to different working conditions, a
ray, wind turbine, battery bank, inverter, controller, and other constant value of 95% is assumed to simplify the calculations. goth
accessory devices and cables. In order to predict the hybrid system is the factor representing the other losses such as the loss caused
performance, individual components need to be modeled rst. by cable resistance and accumulative dust, etc.

2.1. PV array performance model 2.2. Wind turbine performance model

PV module performance is highly inuenced by weather condi- Choosing a suitable model is very important for the wind tur-
tions, especially solar radiation and PV module temperature. A bine power simulations. For a typical wind turbine, the power out-
simplied simulation model proposed by Zhou et al. [5] is used put characteristic can be assumed in such a way that it starts
to estimate the actual performance of PV modules under varying generating at the cut-in wind speed vC, the power output increases
operating conditions. Five parameters (a, b, c, Rs and n) are intro- linearly as the wind speed increases from vC to the rated wind
duced to take account for all the non-linear effect of the environ- speed vR, The rated power PR is produced when the wind speed var-
mental factors on PV module performance. Using the denition ies from vR to the cut-out wind speed vF at which the wind turbine
of ll factor, the maximum power output delivered by the PV mod- will be shut down for safety considerations. Then the wind turbine
ule Pmodule can be written as power output can be simulated by
  8 vvC
V oc
 ln V oc
0:72    a < PR  vR vC    vC 6 v 6 vR
nKT=q nKT=q Rs G
Pmodule  1  Isco PWT PR    vR 6 v 6 vF 3
1 nKT=q V oc V oc =Isc Go >
 c 0    v < vC or v > vF
V oco To
  1 For small-scale wind turbines, the cut-in wind speed is relatively
1 b ln GGo T
smaller, and wind turbines can operate easily even when wind
where a is the factor responsible for all the non-linear effects that speed is not very high.
the photocurrent depends on; b is a PV module technology spe-
cic-related dimensionless coefcient [6]; and c is the factor con- 2.3. Battery performance model
sidering all the non-linear temperaturevoltage effects.
PV modules represent the fundamental power conversion unit Lead-acid batteries used in hybrid solarwind systems operate
of a PV system. It is mandatory to connect PV modules in series under very specic conditions, which is often very difcult to pre-
and in parallel in order to scale-up the voltage and current to tailor dict when energy will be extracted from or supplied to the battery.
H. Yang et al. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 163169 165

Usually, a lead-acid battery is mainly characterized by two indexes, Psupplied t PPV PWT C  V bat
i.e. the state of charge (SOC) and the oating charge voltage.  
0:2C 0bat C 0bat  SOCt  SOCmin
 Min Ibat;max ; 8
Dt Dt
2.3.1. Battery state-of-charge (SOC)
For a perfect knowledge of the real SOC of a battery, it is neces- where C is a constant, 0 for battery charging process and 1 for bat-
sary to know the initial SOC, the charge or discharge time and the tery discharging process.
current. However, most storage systems are not ideal, losses occur
during charging and discharging and also during storing periods. 4. Economic model based on ACS concept
Taking these factors into account, the SOC of the battery at time
t + 1 can be simply calculated by The economical approach, according to the concept of annual-
  ized cost of system (ACS), is developed to be the best benchmark
r  Dt Ibat t  Dt  gbat
SOCt 1 SOCt  1  4 of system cost analysis. According to the studied hybrid solarwind
24 C 0bat
system, the ACS is composed of the annualized capital cost Cacap,
where r is the self-discharge rate which depends on the accumu- the annualized replacement cost Carep and the annualized mainte-
lated charge and the battery state of health [7]; C 0bat is the nominal nance cost Camain. Then the ACS can be expressed accordingly by
capacity of the battery, Ah. gbat is the battery charging and discharg- (four main parts are considered: PV array, wind turbine, battery
ing efciency. It is difcult to measure separate charging and dis- and wind turbine tower):
charging efciencies, so manufacturers usually specify a round-
ACS C acap PV Wind Bat Tower C arep Bat
trip efciency. In this paper, the battery charge efciency is set
equal to the round-trip efciency, and the discharge efciency is C amain PV Wind Bat Tower 9
equal to 1.
4.1. Annualized capital cost
2.3.2. Battery oating charge voltage
The battery oating charge voltage response is modeled by the
The annualized capital cost of each component (PV array, wind
equation-t method, which expresses the battery oating charge
turbine, battery and wind turbine tower) is
voltage by a polynomial in term of battery SOC and battery current
i  1 iY proj
V bat A  SOC3 B  SOC2 C  SOC D 5 C acap C cap  CRFi; Y proj C cap  10
1 iY proj  1
where A, B, C and D are functions of the battery current I, and can be
calculated by where Ccap is the initial capital cost of each component, US$; Yproj is
0 1 0 1 the component lifetime, year; CRF is the capital recovery factor, a
A a1 a2 a3 0 2 1 ratio to calculate the present value of an annuity (a series of equal
B B C Bb I
B C B 1 b2 b3 C
CB C annual cash ows). The annual real interest rate i is related to the
B CB C@ I A 6
@ C A @ c1 c2 c3 A nominal interest rate i0 and the annual ination rate f.
D d1 d2 d3
4.2. Annualized replacement cost
By tting the equations to battery performance data, the parame-
ters a1, a2, a3, . . . , d1, d2, d3 can be calculated using least squares t- The annualized replacement cost is the annualized value of all
ting method by tting the equations to battery performance data the replacement costs occurring throughout the lifetime of the
(usually available from the manufacturer). project:
3. Reliability model based on LPSP concept C arep C rep  SFFi; Y rep C rep  11
1 iY rep  1
Loss of power supply probability (LPSP) is dened as the prob- where Crep is the replacement cost of the component (battery), US$;
ability that an insufcient power supply results when the hybrid Yrep is the component (battery) lifetime, year; SFF is the sinking
system (PV array, wind turbine and battery storage) is unable to fund factor, a ratio to calculate the future value of a series of equal
satisfy the load demand [3]. annual cash ows.
Two approaches exist for the application of LPSP in designing
stand-alone hybrid system. The rst one is based on chronologi- 4.3. Annualized maintenance cost
cal simulation. This approach is computationally burdensome
and requires the availability of data spanning a certain period The system maintenance cost is deemed to be constant every
of time. The second approach uses probabilistic techniques to year. The conguration with the lowest ACS is taken as the optimal
incorporate the uctuating nature of the resource and the load, one from the congurations that can guarantee the required reli-
thus eliminating the need for time-series data. Considering the ability of power supply.
energy accumulation effect of the battery, to present the system
working conditions more precisely, the chronological method is 5. System optimization model with genetic algorithm
employed. The objective function, LPSP, from time 0 to T can
be described by The minimization of ACS function is implemented employing
T genetic algorithm (GA), which can dynamically searches for the
Power  failure  time Psupplied t < Pneeded t optimal conguration. The ow chart of the optimization process
LPSP t0 7 is illustrated in Fig. 1.
The decision variables included in the optimization process are
where N is the number of time intervals, the number of hours in this the PV module number NPV, wind turbine number NWT, battery
study with hourly weather data input. And the power supplied from number Nbat, PV module slope angle b0 and wind turbine installa-
the hybrid system can be expressed by tion height HWT.
166 H. Yang et al. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 163169

Fig. 1. Flow chart of the optimal process by GA.

The hourly data used in the model are the solar radiation on 6. Result and discussion
horizontal surface, ambient air temperature, wind speed and load
power consumption on an annual basis. The year 1989 is chosen 6.1. The hybrid solarwind project description
as the Example Weather Year in Hong Kong [8] to represent the
climatic conditions for the studied project design (the studied The proposed method has been applied to design one hybrid
project is close to Hong Kong) in the following optimization project, which is built to supply power for a telecommunication re-
process. lay station on a remote island along south-east coast of China (see
The PV array power output is calculated according to the PV Fig. 2).
system model by using the specications of the PV module as well The electric use for the normal operation of the telecommunica-
as the solar radiation data. The wind turbine performance calcula- tion station includes 1300 W GSM base station RBS2206 consump-
tions need to take into account the effects of wind turbine installa- tion (24 V AC) and 200 W for microwave communication (24 V
tion height. The battery bank, with total nominal capacity C 0bat (Ah), DC). According to the project requirement and technical consider-
is permitted to discharge up to a limit dened by the maximum ations, a continuous 1500 W energy consumption is assumed as
depth of discharge DOD, which is specied by the system designer the demand load. The technical characteristics of the PV module
at the beginning of the optimal sizing process. and the wind turbine used in the studied project are listed in Ta-
The system conguration will then be optimized by employ- bles 1 and 2.
ing genetic algorithm, which dynamically searches for the opti- The GFM-1000 lead-acid batteries are employed in the project.
mal conguration to minimize the annualized cost of system They are specially designed for deep cyclic operation in consumer
(ACS). For each system conguration, the systems LPSP will be applications like the hybrid solarwind energy systems. Each set of
examined for whether the load requirement (LPSP target) can batteries has twelve 2 V/1000 Ah cells which are connected in ser-
be satised. Then, the lower cost load requirement satised con- ies to give a nominal output voltage of 24 V.
gurations, will be subject to the following crossover and muta- The initial capital cost, replacement cost, maintenance cost and
tion operations of the GA in order to produce the next generation lifetime of each component are in Table 3.
population until a pre-specied number of generations has been
reached or when a criterion that determines the convergence is 6.2. Optimal design result and discussion
So, for the desired LPSP value, the optimal conguration can be The optimal sizing results for the desired loss of power supply
identied both technically and economically. probability (LPSP) of 2% are shown in Table 4. The overall optimal
H. Yang et al. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 163169 167

20 m above the ground, which is lower than the optimal sizing re-
sults. To makeup the power deciency caused by reduced PV mod-
ules, another two 6 kW wind turbines are added. The revised
conguration can also satisfy the reliability requirements with a
LPSP of 1.98, but the annualized cost of system is a higher than
the optimal one as shown in Table 4.
It is noteworthy that, the optimized battery bank has a total
nominal capacity of 5000 Ah (24 V). Since the battery energy
storage capacity is more than three times higher than the daily
energy output of the system, the hourly or even the daily irreg-
ular power supply from the hybrid system can be easily
smoothed away.

6.3. Project performance analysis with eld measured data

With the time-series eld data of the studied project recorded

from January 2006 to December 2006, the monthly energy contri-
bution of each component (PV module and wind turbine), the bat-
Fig. 2. The hybrid solarwind power generation project. tery working states and the energy balance are investigated

Table 1 6.3.1. Monthly energy contribution of each component

Specications of the PV module Monthly analysis of the hourly measured eld data shows that
Voc (V) Isc (A) Vmax (V) Imax (A) Pmax (W) the energy contributions from photovoltaic and wind generators
vary greatly from one month to the next.
21 6.5 17 5.73 100
Fig. 3 shows the monthly-mean solar and wind energy output
variations of the studied project for the concerned year. Due to
the seasonal wind change, which is consistent northeasterly high
solution is Item 7, resulting in a minimum annualized cost of speed monsoon winds in winter and relatively low wind speed in
9708 US$. summer, more wind energy is generated in months of January
Unfortunately, due to the restriction of limited roof area (see (935 W) and February (986 W); May and August have much less
Fig. 2), instead of using 113 PV modules recommended by the opti- wind power as indicated by smaller wind energy output of 561
mization model, only 78 PV modules were installed. Furthermore, and 600 W respectively. Solar energy has a complementary varia-
due to local terrain constraints and to prevent destructions caused tion with the higher solar energy output from April to October
by severe typhoon in summer season, the wind turbine is installed and lower energy output during other months.

Table 2
Specications of the wind turbine

Rated power (kW) Cut-in speed VC (m/s) Rated speed VR (m/s) Cut-off speed VF (m/s) Tower Hhigh (m) Tower Hlow (m)
6 2.5 10 None 50 10

Table 3
The initial cost and lifetime of the system components

Initial capital cost Replacement cost Maintenance cost (/year) Lifetime (year) Interest rate i0 (%) Ination rate f (%)
PV array 6500 US$/kW Null 65 US$/kW 25 3.75 1.5
Wind turbine 3500 US$/kW Null 95 US$/kW 25
Battery 1500 US$/kAh 1500 US$/kAh 50 US$/kAh 5
Tower 250 US$/m Null 6.5 US$/m 25

Table 4
Optimal sizing results for the hybrid solarwind system
168 H. Yang et al. / Applied Energy 86 (2009) 163169

Wind Turbine
Dump Load

PV array

1.76 kW
0.73 kW 1.03 kW

Battery 0.94+0.65 kW

0.82 kW

0.65 kW

Fig. 5. Annually average energy balance of the pilot project.

kW out
nbat  100% 12
Fig. 3. Monthly energy contribution of solar and wind energy. kW in
Calculated from the one-year eld data of the hybrid solarwind
power generation project, the annually average energy balance be-
6.3.2. Probability distribution of the battery state-of-charge
tween the power supplies, the load and the battery are illustrated in
Statistically derived from the one-year battery SOC data of the
Fig. 5.
project, the columns in Fig. 4 indicate the probability, or the frac-
According to Fig. 5, an annually average power of 1.76 kW is
tion of time, when the battery SOC is within the interval given
generated by the PV array and the wind turbine, 0.82 kW of it
by the width of the columns (here 0.1 is used).
was allotted to charge the battery for power shortage period back-
Normally used lead-acid batteries for renewable energy appli-
up, the rest (0.94 kW) was directly supplied to the load. With
cations are characterized to have a limited range of depth of dis-
0.82 kW input to the battery, only 0.65 kW was available from
charge (DOD), being currently limited to a maximum of 80%. If
the battery for the losses occurred during charging, discharging
this value is exceeded, the battery suffers from over-discharge,
and storing periods. So, the battery overall efciency can be simply
and prolonged over-discharge may result in permanent damage
calculated by Eq. (12) to be about 79%, which is basically consistent
of the battery. Kattakayam and Srinivasan [9] recommended
with the values claimed by others [11].
through trial and error and prolonged experimentations that
0.5 < SOC < 0.8 would be ideal working range for the lead-acid bat-
7. Conclusions
teries. Referring to Fig. 4, the batteries in this case are well con-
trolled and in good working states with nearly 90% opportunities
One optimum match design sizing method for hybrid solar
for its SOC remaining above 0.5, and the system loss of power sup-
wind system is developed in this paper based on genetic algorithm
ply probability (LPSP) was quite well controlled to be less than 2%
(GA), which has the ability to attain the global optimum with rel-
as required, all these statistical numbers showed the rationality of
ative computational simplicity. This model can be used to calculate
the design and the validity of the load control strategies of the pro-
the system optimum conguration which can achieve the desired
ject. As a result, a long cycle life of the battery can be ensured.
loss of power supply probability (LPSP) with minimum annualized
cost of system. The decision variables included in the optimization
6.3.3. Energy balance between each component
process are the PV module number, PV module slope angle, wind
Most storage systems are not ideal, losses occurs in charging
turbine number, wind turbine installation height and battery
and discharging cycles and also during storing periods. The total
energy efciency nbat of the battery is the ratio of the energy ob-
The proposed method has been applied to design a hybrid so-
tained during discharging process to that required to restore it to
larwind system to supply power for a telecommunication relay
its original condition, and can be expressed by Jossen et al. [10]:
station on a remote island along south-east coast of China. The
algorithm is based upon using the weather data of year 1989 in
Hong Kong as the Example Weather Year for both wind speed
and solar radiation for the site under consideration.
With the one year hourly measured eld data of the studied
project, the monthly energy contribution of each component (PV
module and wind turbine), the battery working states and the en-
ergy balance are investigated. The energy contributions from pho-
tovoltaic and wind generators vary greatly from one month to the
next, but good complementary characteristic between solar energy
and wind energy are found. The battery has also been demon-
strated to be in good working states with nearly 90% opportunities
for the battery SOC to remain higher than 0.5, and the over-dis-
charge situations seldom occurred throughout the studied year.


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