The Design and Techno-economic Analysis of Hybrid Power Plants Using Operations Research

  • Karim Mousa

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The Kyoto protocol set new legal standards for the emission of greenhouse gases, and encouraged entities to be more responsible for environmental damage. In turn, the protocol intensified pressures on governments and organizations alike, to look for smarter, and more environmental friendly solutions to their emissions. A surge towards renewable energy research was the result. Hybrid energy systems are those which combine two or more energy sources into one power-generating unit, to take advantage of the perks that each source benefits from, as well as form a more consistent source of power. Such systems are used to power a wide range of applications, mainly off-grid ones. Relative to other research applications, however, not much work has gone into designing such systems. A solar-wind hybrid system uses the energy from the sun and wind to generate electricity. Solar and wind energy are two of the most available renewable energy sources, yet not enough research has been done on operating both energy sources together to make use of their complementary characteristics. In this study, a model is developed which would present the optimal design for a hybrid solar-wind power plant for different electric loads with the objective of minimizing costs. Certain variables are optimized, including the number of wind turbines, the number of solar modules, the wind turbine height, and wind turbine diameter. Each one of these parameters affects the performance and overall cost of the system, and is thus looked at as a core component of the design. iii To analyze our results, simulations and a sensitivity analysis are carried out to test for the nature of complementary characteristics between both energy sources. We initially test our model by prompting it to design a hybrid system that would power a few applications which have yearly constant demand (load). After that, the model is tested for varying seasonal demand, and for the techno-economic aspects of implementing our design in different geographical locations, for different applications. In conclusion, my formulated model was able to simulate the designs of the hybrid system for different applications, and under different conditions. Each output would give us the parameters of the design, and the cost of the system as a whole. My studies finally revealed that hybrid plants exploit the complementary nature of the two energy sources, and can be designed to meet both constant and variable demand over the year. Our model also shows that regions with colder climates would benefit from a cheaper implementation of a hybrid power plant than regions with hot climates.
Date of Award2011
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorAli Diabat (Supervisor)


  • Operations Research
  • Power-Plants

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