Engineering, 2013, 5, 62-65
doi:10.4236/eng.2013.51b011 Published Online January 2013 (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
Performan ce Analysis of P V Energy System in Western
Region of Saudi Arabia
Makbul Anwari1, Ayong Hiendro2
1Electri cal Engineering Departmen t, Umm Al-Qura U niversity, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Electrical Engineering, Universitas Tanjungpura, Pontianak, Indonesia
Email: mmanwari@u qu.,
Received 2013
The potential implementation of photovoltaic (PV) energy system in western region of Saudi Arabia was analyzed in
this paper. HOMER (hybrid optimization model for electric renewable) software was used to perform the technical fea-
sibility of the system. The feasibility of PV energy system was analyzed based on solar irradiances. Stand-alone PV
systems with battery storage element will be evaluated and discussed. The analysis will be addressed to the impact of
PV and battery storage on electric energy production.
Keywords: Stand-Alone PV System; Electric E ner gy Production; HOMER Software
1. Introduction
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is blessed with an abun-
dance of energy resources. It has the world’s largest
pro ven oil r eserve s, the wor ld’s fo urth lar gest p roven ga s
reserves, has abundant wind and solar renewable energy
resources, and is the world’s 20th largest producer and
consumer of electricity. Saudi Arabia makes negligible
use of its renewable energy resources and almost all its
electricity is produced from the combustion of fossil fu-
els [1].
Remarkable diversifications in terms of energy sources
and the intensification of deploying renewable energy
options are evident around the world. A set of renewable
energy scenarios for the currently oil-rich Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia has been presented to examine the pros-
pects of renewable sources from the perspective of major
oil producers. The drive towards renewable energy in
Saudi Arabia should not be regarded as being a luxury
but rather a must, as a sign of good governance, concern
for the environment and prudence in oil-production poli-
cy [2,3].
Electrical energy consumption in Saudi Arabia in-
creased sharply during the last two decades due to rapid
economic development and the absence of energy con-
servation measures. Peak loads reached nearly 24GW in
200125 times their 1975 level—and are expected to
approach 60GW by 2023. The total investment needed to
meet t his d ema nd may e xceed $90 billion. Consequently,
there is an urgent need to develop energy conservation
policies for sustainable development [4].
Solar energy is one of the in-exhaustible, site -de- pen-
dent, benign (does not produce emissions that contribute
to the greenhouse effect), and potential source of renew-
able energy options that is being pursued by a number of
countries with monthly average daily solar radiation in
the range of 36 kWh/ m2, in an effort to reduce their
dependence on fossil-based nonrenewable fuels [5].
The objective of this study is to assess the technical
feasibility of the stand-alone PV energy system to meet
the 2.5%-load requirements of Makkah city with annual
electrical energy demand of 71,500 MWh/yr.
2. Load Profiles
The load demand in the western region of Saudi Arabia
varies monthly. The demand is the highest in August,
while it is the lo west in Jan uary as shown in Figure 1. A
random variability factor of 15% for day-to -day and 10%
for time-step-to-ti me-step is given to HOMER software
to cater for differences which may occur each day in load
profile and the energy demand requirement for a year
was generated automatically by HOMER software. The
monthly load profile used for HOMER simulation is
sho wn in Figure 2.
3. Solar Radiation
The clearness index and/or the solar radiation data can be
used to represent the solar resource input. This data can
be generated using HOMER software by entering the
location data (i.e. the latitude and lo ngitude) . T he latitude
and longitude of Makkah are 21°26' North and 39°49'
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
East respectively. The solar radiation ranges between
4.15kWh/m2/day and 7.17kWh/m2/day. The scaled an-
nual average of the solar radiation is estimated to be
5.94kWh/m2/day. It is noticed that solar irradiance is
high (above the average) from March to September with
a peak for the month of June, while solar irradiance is
low for January, February, October, November and De-
cember. Figure 3 sho ws the s ola r rad iatio n data inp uts a s
used in HOMER software, on the right axis of which is
the clearness index of the solar radiation.
4. Design Specification
In this simulation, the stand-alone PV energy system is
considered at the three system-components, specifically,
PV modules, storage batteries and inverters to supply to
the AC load . In order to meet the user AC load profile as
discussed previously, the following design specifications
for each of the component are provided in Figure 4.
06 12 1824
Load (kW)
Daily Profile
06 12 1824
Load (kW)
Daily Profile
Figure 1. Daily load profiles (upper: January, lower: Au-
Jan FebMar Apr May JunJul Aug SepOct Nov DecAnn
Load (k W)
S ea sonal Profile
daily hig h
daily low
Figure 2. Monthly load profile o f Makkah.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May JunJul Aug SepOct Nov Dec
Daily Radiation (kWh/m²/d)
Global Horizontal Radiati on
Clearness Index
D aily R adiat ionC learnes s I ndex
Figure 3. Solar radiation data.
Figure 4 . Design specif ication.
4.1. PV Modules
Solar energy is used as the base-load power source. In an
isolated system, the renewable energy contribution of
50% is considered to be high. Such a system might be
very difficult to control while maintaining a stable vol-
tage and frequency. The level of renewable energy pene-
tration in hybrid systems (deployed around the world) is
gener all y in the range of 1 1% - 25% [6].
The designed PV array size was 85 MW . This amount
will be used to cater for the variety load demand in a year.
The excess power generated will be used to charge the
It should be highlighted that this PV array will only
generate electricity at day time, fro m 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. At
night, there is no electricity generated. Therefore, the
output from solar would be 0 W. At night, the battery
will take over the task.
4.2. Storage Ba tt ery
The From the datasheet given by HOMER software, the
minimum state of charge of the battery is 40%. Its round
trip efficiency is 80%. The battery’s replacement cost
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
was assumed to be the same as the capital cost.
The battery chosen for this study is Surrette 6CS25P.
The number of batteries per string is set to one and the
bus voltage is ignored. This approach is appropriate for
preliminary sizing analysis to determine the optimal
storage capacity.
4.3. Inverter
The inverter is chosen based on the selected PV modules.
For 85 MW rated output PV, the inverter is rated at 85
MW to fully supply the power from PV. However, it is
assumed that the inverter has an efficiency of 90%.
Therefore, the supplied power will be less than the rated
A brief summary on the data for each of the selected
components is provided in Table 1.
5. Simulation Results
The monthly average PV production is presented i n Fig-
ure 5. The total PV production in a year is 166,788
MWh/yr, while the AC primary load is 71,542 MWh/yr.
Tabel I. Data for Selected Components.
Description Data
Size 85 M W
Lifetime 25 yr
Storage battery
Type of b attery Surrette CS25P
Nomin al voltage 6 V
Nominal capacity 1156 Ah
Maximum capacity 1163 Ah
Minimum SO C 40%
Lifetime 12 yr
Size 85 M W
Lifetime 15 yr
Efficiency 90%
Jan FebMar Apr May JunJul Aug SepOct NovDec
Power (kW)
Monthly Average Electric Produc tion
Figure 5. Monthly average PV production.
020 40 60 80100
Freque ncy (%)
Frequency Histogram
State o f C h arg e (%)
Figure 6. Batteries st at e of char ge.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
The PV only produces electricity at day time. From the
simulation results, it is ob ta ined that the excess elec tricity
is about 50.9% and the unmeet load demand is 52.2%.
Demands cannot be fulfilled by the PV without batteries
as storage devices. It needs batteries to store the excess
electricit y from the PV. Ho wever the PV/b atter ies system
will need a bulk amount of batteries to store the excess
electricity from the PV and fulfill demands at night.
Surrette 6CS25P battery has a maximum capacity of
1,163 Ah. It needs 30,000 batteries to accommodate all
excess electricity in order to meet demands in a year.
More batteries are needed, if the lifetime of batteries is
taken into consideration in the design. The batteries
expected lifetime will be decreased as they frequently
operate at the low level of their state of charge (SOC).
The SOC allowed for the batteries to operate in this
design is between 40% - 100% as illustrated in Figure 6
to maintain their lifetime for 1 2 yr.
Ho wever, a nother alternative to reduce the big amount
of batteries is by combining the PV/battery system with
other energy resources (wind, diesel, fuel cell) that can
reduce the load on the batteries. It does not only reduce
the amount of batteries used, but also maintain the
batteries lifeti me.
6. Conclusion
The HOMER software has simulated and analyzed
stand-alone PV energy system based on solar irradiance.
The studied energy system includes stand-alone PV sys-
tem with and witho ut batter y s tora ge ele ment. It ha s be e n
demonstrated that the use PV system with battery can
significantly reduce the dependence on solely available
diesel resource in Makkah city and western region of
Saudi Arabia in general.
7. Acknowledgements
The authors t hank t he Institute o f Scientif ic Research and
Revival of Islamic Heritage, Umm Al-Qura University
for the research grant.
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