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Prospects of hybrid renewable energy-based power system: A case study, post analysis of Chipendeke Micro-Hydro, Zimbabwe

Shafiullah, GM.ORCID: 0000-0002-2211-184X, Masola, T., Samu, R., Elavarasan, R.M., Begum, S., Subramaniam, U., Romlie, M.F., Chowdhury, M.A. and Arif, M.T. (2021) Prospects of hybrid renewable energy-based power system: A case study, post analysis of Chipendeke Micro-Hydro, Zimbabwe. IEEE Access, 9 . pp. 73433-73452.

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Fossil fuel-based energy sources are the major contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and thus the use of renewable energy (RE) is becoming the best alternative to cater for the increasing energy demand in both developing and developed nations. Chipendeke is a rural community in Zimbabwe, in which electricity demand is partially served by the only micro-hydro plant and hence, load shedding is a regular practice to keep essential services running. This study explored a suitable opportunity to identify a feasible system with different energy sources that can fulfill the current and projected future load demand of the community. A techno-economic feasibility study for a hybrid RE based power system (REPS) is examined considering various energy sources and cost functions. Six different system configurations have been designed with different sizing combinations to identify the most optimum solution for the locality considering techno-economic and environmental viability. The performance metrics considered to evaluate the best suitable model are; Net Present Cost (NPC), Cost of Energy (COE), Renewable Fraction (RF), excess energy and seasonal load variations. In-depth, sensitivity analyses have been performed to investigate the variations of the studied models with a little variation of input variables. Of the studied configurations, an off-grid hybrid Hydro/PV/DG/Battery system was found to be the most economically feasible compared to other configurations. This system had the lowest NPC and COE of $ 307,657 and $ 0.165/kWh respectively and the highest RF of 87.5%. The proposed hybrid system could apply to any other remote areas in the region and anywhere worldwide.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
Publisher: IEEE
United Nations SDGs: Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
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