Homer Energy Modeling Software 56
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Currently, solar energy is considered one of the most suitable options for overcoming the problems of fossil fuel depletion, and global warming. Also, the high costs associated to photovoltaic systems, renders the maximum utilization of solar cells, a fundamental and undeniable necessity. Technical-economic-environmental analysis, using HOMER software, was performed under four different scenarios: without the tracker, with the horizontal axis tracker, with the vertical axis tracker, and with the dual-axis tracker. Consequently, the best configuration was chosen for each scenario. The optimal system for all four scenarios, in the circumstance of disconnection from the grid, only involves the solar cells, while in the circumstance of connection to the grid; both the solar cells and the wind turbine are included. The results demonstrate that in the off grid situation, the scenario involving the use of a vertical axis tracker would be the most cost-effective, with the price of 0.812 $/kWh for energy produced, while the lowest price for producing one kg of hydrogen is $77.97 is attributable to the scenario without the use of a solar tracker. In the circumstance of being connected to the power grid, the scenario involving the use of a vertical axis tracker would be most cost-effective, with the price of each kWh of energy produced equal to $ 0.223. At the price of $29.33 per kilogram, the scenario involving the use of a vertical axis tracker would also be most suitable for the production of hydrogen. Another important fact revealed through the results, is the crucial role of dump load, in the provision of the heat required in an off-grid situation. However, dump load is not associated to heat provision in a grid-connected situation.
Although the production of solar energy is widely discussed in the relevant literature, there are not many reports on the use of solar trackers. Taking this into consideration, this study delves into the effects arising from the use of different types of solar trackers, in a photovoltaic system, with an emphasis on hydrogen production. A review of the reports available in the literature, regarding renewable energy production, performed using the HOMER software, is presented in Table 1.
The hybrid optimization model, for electric renewables (HOMER) software, was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, Colorado, USA, for the feasibility study, of power systems that utilize renewable energy sources. HOMER is a computer model, which enables the designing of power systems, independent of, or connected to the power grid .
The simultaneous production of electricity, heat, and hydrogen is an approach that results in increasing the efficiency of energy systems and has received very little attention in Iran. Considering the importance of using excess electricity and converting it into heat, as well as providing hydrogen as a clean fuel, the results of the present work can lead to the development of the use of this type of system in Iran. For more works resulting from this article, other renewable energy sources such as biomass, geothermal, etc. can be used instead of wind and solar energies. It is also possible to rank the use of these systems in different parts of the country by using existing software and numerical methods. It is also possible to draw GIS maps and make it easier for energy field managers to make macro-decisions.
The geographical location of Iran is conducive for the replacement of fossil fuels with solar energy. However, among the stumbling blocks to this realization, is the poor efficiency of solar cells. In order to improve the efficiency of these cells, single and dual-axis solar trackers can be applied. The focus of this research is on hydrogen production and the effects of using the solar tracker on energy, environment, and economic parameters in the Jask, Iran. It should be noted that the present work is a trigeneration (production of electricity, hea