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Development of a 10 KW stand-alone small size wind photovoltaic energy generating system

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Hybrid renewable energy systems that incorporate complementary technologies can improve energy availability. This project investigates the use of wind and solar technologies in an integrated generating system. The hybrid system developed during this project has successfully demonstrated its ability to effectively fulfil the electricity demands of isolated rural communities. In one sense, wind and solar energy have complementary characteristics. Sunny days are generally characterised by poor wind activity, whereas wind speed above the average is usually observed on cloudy days or at night. The use of both of these technologies on a single site to generate power thereby results in an improvement in the availability of electricity against the use of a single technology. In many cases the electricity needs of rural communities can be met by means of such small-scale hybrid power plants, together with a limited amount of electricity storage. The objective of this project was to develop a small-scale stand-alone hybrid system consisting of a wind turbine driven generator, a photovoltaic array and a single DC to DC power electronic interface between the generating unit and the utility circuit. Two innovative components were to be designed and tested during the project. These were a gearless permanent magnet axial-flux wind generator and a 10 kW double-input single-output DC to DC power electronic interface. A pilot plant of 10 kW (5 kW wind and 5 kW PV power) was to be assembled and tested in laboratory conditions.