The Solar-wind power system is a hybrid power system composed of solar power obtained from PV cells and wind power obtained from wind turbines. This combined system produces more power from the wind turbine in winter or at nights whereas it gets its peak output from solar panels during summer or at day times. Hybrid power systems yield greater economic and environmental returns compared to a stand-alone power system like solar, wind, geothermal, etc.
The functional block diagram of a hybrid solar power system consists of the basic parts of the both solar and wind power system. Hybrid power system consists of wind turbines with a control system connected to the battery bank that stores energy. The solar power system is also connected to this system which consists of solar panels with a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) charge controller connected to the battery bank. This battery bank is connected to the inverter that converts DC power into the AC power which is connected to AC loads.
Advantages of hybrid power systems over stand-alone wind and solar systems
Hybrid power systems have a lot of advantages of over stand-alone power systems because hybrid power systems consist of two or more renewable energy sources used together to increase the system efficiency as well as provide a greater balance in supplying energy.
A stand-alone solar power system only works when the solar light is available and the wind power system works only when the wind is blowing above a certain speed. But a hybrid power system can supply electrical energy both during days and nights. At daytime, mostly solar power is generated due to the sunlight; whereas, at nights and if the wind blows, wind power is the dominant form of the generated power. Therefore, a hybrid solar-wind power system can generate power both during days and nights.
The yield of the generated power by such a system is more because, for 24 hours, it generates more power than a standalone power system. This makes hybrid power systems more reliable for supplying continuous electricity compared to stand alone. It also minimizes battery storage requirements.
Areas of the world where hybrid solar-wind power systems are used
A hybrid system is especially suitable in areas where the patterns of the sunlight and wind are at odd. It means the areas where there is a high and longtime solar irradiance during the day as opposed to a high wind speed at nights that compensates for the lack of light at nights.
Some of the most famous solar-wind hybrid power systems in the world
- Nepal’s largest hybrid solar-wind hybrid power system was switched on at Hariharpurgadi village of Sindhuli district. This project provides electricity to 83 household villagers. It consists of 20KW wind turbines and a15KW solar power system. The whole system provides 110KWh of energy per day.
- India is planning the world’s largest hybrid solar-wind power system with a capacity of 160MW built over a 1000-acre area. This project is expected to have 120 MW solar power output and 40 MW of wind energy with a battery storage system.
- Jhul energy, Inc. created the first US commercial wind integrated solar energy (WiSE) in Red Lake Park, Minnesota. Built in 2017, it has 5.6 MW power output consists of 1MW from its solar power system and 4.6MW output from its two 2.3MW General Electric 116-meter rotor turbines.