In developing countries, rural electrification in areas with limited or no access to grid connection is one of the most challenging issues for governments. These areas are partially integrated with the electrical grid. This poor electricity distribution is mainly due to geographical inaccessibility, rugged terrains, lack of electrical infrastructure, and high required economic investment for installing large grid-connected power lines over long distances to provide electricity for regions with a low population. On the other hand, rapid depletion of fossil fuel resources on a global scale and progressive increase of energy demand and fuel price are other motives to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. Hybrid renewable energy system (HRES) can be a suitable option for such remote areas. The objective of this chapter is to develop a methodology for sizing hybrid power generation systems (solar-diesel), battery-backed in non-interconnected zones, which minimizes the total cost and maximizes the reliability of supply using particle swarm optimization (PSO). The proposed methodology assists the sizing and designing process of an HRES for an off-grid area minimizing the cost of energy (COE) and maximizing the reliability of the system. Economic incentives offered by the Colombian government are considered in the model.
Part of the book: Wind Solar Hybrid Renewable Energy System