Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Hybrid power generation for remote locations

Hybrid energy systems can offer reliable power supplies at affordable costs for remote autonomous installations with demands of 50-200 MWh/year. However, experience in Europe is still limited. This project aimed to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of a medium-scale hybrid system consisting of a PV generator, a wind generator, a diesel generator together with a lead acid battery. The project needed to identify inexpensive components for use in the system, and then to test the system for its reliability and cost-effectiveness. The project was carried out at a nautical college on the Dutch island of Terschelling. The system consists of a 20 kW PV generator, a 75 kW wind generator, a 60 kW diesel generator, a 90 kW lead acid battery and a 60 kW uninterruptable power system. The designers used industrial standard components to minimise costs and a programmable logic controller allowed the system to be carefully matched to ensure optimum matching of demand and supply.

The project had 3 main aims: to obtain long-term monitoring data (24 months), to achieve 100% reliability of the system, and to develop advanced PV-system and battery control strategies. The project team measured energy consumption of the nautical college, determined the relative contributions from each of the hybrid components to the total energy production, and assessed the efficiency of the system. The battery performance was also measured and an economic assessment of the entire system calculated.

The system achieved 90-99% reliability during operation, the small lapses in operation occurred at the start of the monitoring when it was realised that the college's energy demand was much less than had originally been estimated (40 MWh rather than up to 100 MWh). There were also a few interruptions with the diesel system. The share of renewable energy was 70-80%, about half of the energy was provided from wind and a quarter from PV. Costs of the system were comparable to those of a pure diesel system if the rating of the hybrid is optimised. The hybrid system becomes competitive if fuel prices are higher than 0.71 ECU/l.


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