The present paper presents a methodology to perform the optimal sizing of an autonomous hybrid PV/wind system. The methodology aims at finding the configuration, among a set of systems components, which meets the desired system reliability requirements, with the lowest value of levelized cost of energy. Modelling a hybrid PV/wind system is considered as the first step in the optimal sizing procedure. In this paper, more accurate mathematical models for characterizing PV module, wind generator and battery are proposed. The second step consists to optimize the sizing of a system according to the loss of power supply probability (LPSP) and the levelized cost of energy (LCE) concepts. Considering various types and capacities of system devices, the configurations, which can meet the desired system reliability, are obtained by changing the type and size of the devices systems. The configuration with the lowest LCE gives the optimal choice. Applying this method to an assumed PV/wind hybrid system to be installed at Corsica Island, the simulation results show that the optimal configuration, which meet the desired system reliability requirements (LPSP=0) with the lowest LCE, is obtained for a system comprising a 125 W photovoltaic module, one wind generator (600 W) and storage batteries (using 253 Ah). On the other hand, the device system choice plays an important role in cost reduction as well as in energy production. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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