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Keywords:

  • wind power stand-alone system;
  • photovoltaic generator;
  • battery capacity reduction;
  • wind potential

Abstract

Autonomous wind power systems are among the most interesting and environmentally friendly technological solutions for the electrification of remote consumers. In many cases, however, the battery contribution to the initial or the total operational cost is found to be dominant, discouraging further penetration of the available wind resource. This is basically the case for areas possessing a medium–low wind potential. On the other hand, several isolated consumers are located in regions having the regular benefit of an abundant and reliable solar energy supply. In this context the present study investigates the possibility of reducing the battery size of a stand-alone wind power installation by incorporating a small photovoltaic generator. For this purpose an integrated energy production installation based exclusively on renewable energy resources is hereby proposed. Subsequently a new numerical algorithm is developed that is able to estimate the appropriate dimensions of a similar system. According to the results obtained by long-term experimental measurements, the introduction of the photovoltaic panels considerably improves the operational and financial behaviour of the complete installation owing to the imposed significant battery capacity diminution. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.