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Economic evaluation and optimization of a photovoltaic-fuel cell-batteries hybrid system for use in the Brazilian Amazon


  • Silva, Sergio B.
  • de Oliveira, Marco A.G.
  • Severino, Mauro M.


The lack of electric power in isolated communities in the Brazilian Amazon region has become one of the barriers to economic and social development. Currently, the main technologies that provide electric power to these communities are diesel generators. This non-renewable energy source, besides causing serious problems to the environment and human health, have high maintenance and operational costs. This paper presents a study on the use of photovoltaic and fuel cells for continuous supply of electric power. The paper outlines the technical and costs characteristics of a pilot project set up in an environmental protection area, located in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. The pilot project uses solar energy as the primary electric power production source. Surplus energy stored in the hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water is later transformed into electric power by the fuel cells during periods when there is little or no sunlight. A comparative study between the technologies and potential configurations meeting the needs of isolated communities in the Amazon through simulations based on HOMER software are presented. As result, this paper outlines some policies to promote the use of renewable energy sources in isolated areas in Brazil derived from the pilot project.

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  • Silva, Sergio B. & de Oliveira, Marco A.G. & Severino, Mauro M., 2010. "Economic evaluation and optimization of a photovoltaic-fuel cell-batteries hybrid system for use in the Brazilian Amazon," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6713-6723, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:11:p:6713-6723

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