Date of this Version
Solar Energy 86 (2012) 1197–1207; doi:10.1016/j.solener.2012.01.012
While many remote water pumping systems exist (e.g. mechanical windmills, solar photovoltaic, wind-electric, diesel powered), few combine both the wind and solar energy resources to possibly improve the reliability and the performance of the system. In this paper, off-grid wind turbine (WT) and solar photovoltaic (PV) array water pumping systems were analyzed individually and combined as a hybrid system. The objectives were to determine: (1) advantages or disadvantages of using a hybrid system over using a WT or a solar PV array alone; (2) if the WT or solar PV array interfered with the output of the other; and (3) which hybrid system was the most efficient for the location. The WT used in the analysis was rated at 900 W alternating current (AC). There were three different solar PV arrays analyzed, and they were rated at 320, 480, and 640 W direct current (DC). A rectifier converted the 3-phase variable voltage AC output from the WT to DC before combining it with the solar PV array DC output. The combined renewable energies powered a single helical pump. The independent variable used in the hybrid WT/PV array analysis was in units of W/m2. The peak pump efficiency of the hybrid systems at Bushland, TX occurred for the 900W WT combined with the 640 W PV array. The peak pump efficiencies at a 75 m pumping depth of the hybrid systems were: 47% (WT/320 W PV array), 51% (WT/480 W PV array), and 55% (WT/640 W PV array). Interference occurred between the WT and the different PV arrays (likely due to voltage mismatch between WT and PV array), but the least interference occurred for the WT/320 W PV array. This hybrid system pumped 28% more water during the greatest water demand month than the WT and PV systems would have pumped individually. An additional controller with a buck/boost converter is discussed at end of paper for improvement of the hybrid WT/PV array water pumping system.