Techno-economic comparative study of grid-connected PV/reformer/FC hybrid systems with distinct solar tracking systems

Mohamed Dekkiche, Toufik Tahri, Mouloud Denai

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The purpose of this study is to analyze and compare the techno-economic performance of grid-connected Hybrid Energy Systems (HES) consisting of Photovoltaic (PV) and Reformer Fuel-Cell (RF-FC) using different types of solar PV tracking techniques to supply electricity to a small location in the City of Chlef, Algeria. The PV tracking systems considered in this study include fixed facing south at four different angles (32°, 34°, 36°, 38°), horizontal-axis with continuous adjustment, vertical-axis with continuous adjustment and a two-axis tracking system. The software tool HOMER Pro (Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources) is used to simulate and analyze the technical feasibility and life-cycle cost of these different configurations. The meteorological data, consisting of global solar radiation and air temperature, used in this study was collected from the geographical area of the City of Chlef during the year 2020. This study has shown that the optimal design of a grid-connected hybrid PV/RF-FC energy system with Vertical Single Axis Tracker (VSAT) leads to the best economic performance with low values of Net Present Cost (NPC), Cost of Energy (COE) with a Positive Return on Investment (ROI) and the shortest Simple Payback (SP) period. In addition, from the simulation results obtained, it can be concluded that the Horizontal and Vertical Single-Axis Trackers (HSAT and VSAT) as well as the Dual-Axis Tracker (DAT) are not always cost effective compared to the Fixed Tilt System (FTS). Therefore, it is necessary to carefully analyze the use of each tracker to assess whether the energy gain achieved outweighs the overall shortcomings of the tracker.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100360
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management: X
Early online date8 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2023


  • Grid-connected system; Photovoltaic panels; Reformer fuel cell; Solar tracker; HOMER
  • Grid-connected system
  • Solar tracker
  • Photovoltaic panels
  • Reformer fuel cell


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