Renewable Energy, Vol.156, 1203-1214, 2020
Optimal location and size of a grid-independent solar/hydrogen system for rural areas using an efficient heuristic approach
Renewable energy resources and technologies, especially solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, can provide advantageous and clean options for meeting electrical demands. The location and sizing of photovoltaic systems affect the system losses significantly. Here, a new hybrid framework for the optimal location and size for an off-grid solar/hydrogen energy system is proposed using an improved heuristic approach: improved harmony search and geographic information system (GIS). To determine the appropriate capacity and location for a grid-independent photovoltaic scheme in rural areas, a GIS module is used subject to several criteria: social, economic, technical, and environmental. The life cycle cost, the main objective function, is minimized and employed to assess the viability of the stand-alone photovoltaic scheme with hydrogen storage accounting for the reliability of the scheme. The system reliability is measured with the parameter loss of power supply probability. The proposed framework is useful, and is applied here to an actual case study in Iran for illustrative purposes. To validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, the results obtained by proposed algorithm are compared with those of harmony search algorithm-based geographic information systems. The results of the simulation show the advantages of utilizing the proposed framework, based on improved harmony search and geographic information systems, for a grid-independent photovoltaic scheme considering both power quality and cost in remote and island areas. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.