One of the pillars for the development of isolated communities is electricity, however the implementation of conventional networks is limited as a result of the difficulties of the terrain. This paper aims to analyze the technical-economic feasibility of implementing a hybrid off-grid solar photovoltaics (PV)/diesel generator (DG)/battery (BATT) based power system for the electrification of rural communities, using a case study in Bameno, Ecuador. The simulation and optimization of the system is done using Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER) software. As a result, the optimal sizing is composed of 23 kW PV modules, a DG 27 kW, 88.4 kWh storage batteries and 9.4 kW converter system, obtaining a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of 0.359 $/kWh. After the optimization is executed, a sensitivity analysis is performed to establish the effects of the variations of solar radiation, demand, fuel, and component costs on the system. The PV/DG/BATT system is considered the best choice for fuel prices up to $0.83 per liter. For higher values the optimal system is the PV/BATT. It is also established that the LCOE is mostly affected by the cost of technological components, followed by variations in solar radiation and demand.
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- Renewable energy sources
- Sensitivity analysis