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A comprehensive study on the performance of various tracker systems in hybrid renewable energy systems, Saudi Arabia

Alanazi, Mohana, Attar, Hani, Amer, Ayman, Amjad, Ayesha, Mohamed, Mahmoud ORCID:, Majid, Mohammed Sh., Yahya, Khalid and Salem, Mohamed 2023. A comprehensive study on the performance of various tracker systems in hybrid renewable energy systems, Saudi Arabia. Sustainability 15 (13) , 10626. 10.3390/su151310626

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To compensate for the lack of fossil fuel-based energy production systems, hybrid renewable energy systems (HRES) would be a useful solution. Investigating different design conditions and components would help industry professionals, engineers, and policymakers in producing and designing optimal systems. In this article, different tracker systems, including vertical, horizontal, and two-axis trackers in an off-grid HRES that includes photovoltaic (PV), wind turbine (WT), diesel generator (Gen), and battery (Bat) are considered. The goal is to find the optimum (OP) combination of an HRES in seven locations (Loc) in Saudi Arabia. The proposed load demand is 988.97 kWh/day, and the peak load is 212.34 kW. The results of the cost of energies (COEs) range between 0.108 to 0.143 USD/kWh. Secondly, the optimum size of the PV panels with different trackers is calculated. The HRES uses 100 kW PV in combination with other components. Additionally, the size of the PVs where 100% PV panels are used to reach the load demand in the selected locations is found. Finally, two sensitivity analyses (Sens) on the proposed PV and tracker costs and solar GHIs are conducted. The main goal of the article is to find the most cost-effective tracker system under different conditions while considering environmental aspects such as the CO2 social penalty. The results show an increase of 35% in power production from PV (compared to not using a tracker) when using a two-axis tracker system. However, it is not always cost-effective. The increase in power production when using vertical and horizontal trackers (HT) is also significant. The findings show that introducing a specific tracker for all locations depends on renewable resources such as wind speed and solar GHI, as well as economic inputs. Overall, for GHIs higher than 5.5 kWh/m2/day, the vertical tracker (VT) is cost-effective.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: MDPI
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 August 2023
Date of Acceptance: 30 June 2023
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2023 03:06

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