The major issues hindering the large deployment of renewable energy technologies have been high up-front capital costs, intermittent in supplying energy, etc. Recent trend of the costs of renewable energy technologies shows a declination because of innovation and improvement in manufacturing technology. In remote areas supply of fossil fuels is very costly due to poor transport infrastructure. Almost all fossil fuels need to be imported. Most of the energy is supplied through diesel generators and or through independent renewable power plants (wind, PV, or micro-hydro plants). In most of the cases, these supply systems are not cost effective because they function with a very low load factor. In many cases, these stand-alone plants have poor reliability and operational flexibility in electricity supply. However, it is necessary to increase the reliability or the power supply from these technologies. By hybridization different renewable energy technologies, it has been shown that the supply of energy can be guaranteed at minimum lifecycle cost. It is obvious that proper management of available natural resources and the energy technology is vital issue for satisfying the energy demand in a sustainable manner locally and globally. The direct integration of these different sources into a hybrid system has been made practically possible by the newly-developed PV-Wind-Bio hybrid system from SunTechnics. This lecture explains the different electrification possibilities as well as their advantages and special features.
The need for hybridization of resources
The need for hybridization of resources
There are three main attributes of renewable energy resources: free availability, allowance for modular technology and emission free. One of the greatest problems in utilizing renewable energy sources is their low density of power and intermittent nature depending largely upon local site and unpredictable weather conditions. The solution to this problem may be the utilization of these sources in random. Renewable sources are available with different intensity at different period of the year. This characteristic of renewable resources can be used through a system in such a way that they are able to supply energy on demand. Such a system is called hybrid power system. A hybrid power plant with an intelligent power management system can increase reliability of power supply with minimum impact on ecology.
In the remote and isolated areas far from the grid, it is impossible to meet the small power load either through long-distance distribution network or by the conventional generation. This is due to the high cost of transmission lines and higher transmission losses that accompany distribution of centrally generated power to remote areas. The power-supply for these areas mainly depends on "stand alone" diesel or hybrid generation systems, which are now a possible economical alternative to running the grid all the way to remote area. An important drawback associated with monovalent diesel, wind or PV systems, is their inability to guarantee reliable, uninterrupted output at a cost that can be comparable with the conventionally produced power. Therefore, a number of off-grid hybrid systems, which received more and more attentions from the whole world, have been installed and tested in the past decades. These systems are all designed to yield a high reliability of power supply. The results obviously show that, renewable energy-based off-grid hybrid generation systems can compete with power from the gird in remote locations, where the grid is either not feasible or nonexistent. For example, hybrid systems such as wind/ photovoltaics (PV), wind/diesel are now proven technologies and an option for the supply of small electrical loads at remote locations. Because of the existence of large remote and isolated areas with abundant renewable energy resources in the developing world, the renewable energy-based hybrid generation systems, especially wind/PV, wind/diesel hybrid systems are an effective option for solving the power-supply and poverty-removal problem.