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In view of growing concerns of global warming and depleting oil/gas reserves, many nations are considering use of hybrid photovoltaic (PV)- diesel technology as an option for power generation The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (K.S.A) has higher level of solar radiation and is a prospective candidate for deployment of solar PV systems. Literature indicates that commercial/residential buildings in K.S.A. consume about 10–45% of the total electric energy generated. The aim of this study is to analyze solar radiation data of Yanbu (West-Coast, K.S.A.) to assess the techno-economic feasibility of utilizing hybrid PV-diesel-battery power systems to meet the load of a typical residential building. The monthly average daily solar global radiation ranges from 3.61 to 7.90 kwh/sq.m. National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) HOMER software has been used in the study.
The simulation results indicate that for a hybrid system composed of 4 kWp PV system together with 10 kW diesel system and a battery storage of 3 hours of autonomy (average load), the PV penetration is 21%. The cost of generating energy (COE, US$/kWh) from the above hybrid system has been found to be 0.180 $/kWh. With use of the above hybrid system, about 2 tons/year of carbon emissions can be avoided entering into the local atmosphere. Also, for a given hybrid configuration, the operational time of diesel generators has been found to decrease with increase in PV capacity. The investigation examines impact of PV penetration on: carbon emissions, diesel fuel consumption, Net Present Cost, cost of energy, etc.
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