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Solar Energy Resource Analysis and Evaluation of Photovoltaic System Performance in Various Regions of Saudi Arabia

Ahmed Bilal Awan (), Muhammad Zubair (), Praveen R. P. () and Ahmed G. Abokhalil ()
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Ahmed Bilal Awan: Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah 11952, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Muhammad Zubair: Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah 11952, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Praveen R. P.: Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah 11952, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ahmed G. Abokhalil: Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah 11952, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 4, 1-27

Abstract: According to Vision 2030, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (K.S.A) plans to harness 9.5 GW of energy from renewable energy sources, which includes a major part of solar PV generation. This massive implementation of solar projects requires an accurate assessment and analysis of solar resource data and PV site selection. This paper presents a detailed analysis of one-year solar radiation data and energy output of 100 kW PV systems at 44 different locations across the K.S.A. Coastal areas have a lower amount of global horizontal irradiance (GHI) as compared to inland areas. Najran University station gives the highest annual electrical output of 172,083 kWh, yield factor of 1721, and capacity utilization factor of 19.6%. Sharurah and Timma TVTC are second and third best with respect to annual PV performance. Similarly, during high load summer season (April–October), Tabuk station is the best location for a PV power plant with an electrical output of 110,250 kWh, yield factor of 1102, and capacity utilization factor of 21.46%. Overall, the northern province of Tabuk is the most feasible region for a solar PV plant. The basic approach presented in this research study compares solar resource pattern and solar PV system output pattern with the load profile of the country. The site selected based on this criterion is recommended to be economically most feasible which can reduce the stress on electricity companies during high load seasons by clipping the peak load during daytime in the hot summer period.

Keywords: renewable energy; solar energy; photovoltaic; GHI; Saudi Arabia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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