The main objective of the present study is to perform simulation, and modeling analysis for the optimized design of grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) and proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM FC) hybrid energy system for reverse osmosis desalination plant. The goal is to integrate renewable and clean energy technologies for seawater desalination. Grid (baseline), and grid-tied hybrid solar PV/fuel cell power systems are designed and tested. The performance of the renewable power system, the cost of energy and CO2 emissions are determined. The simulation data show that the grid connected photovoltaic and fuel cell hybrid energy system meet the energy demand of the desalination plant without shortage. The proposed grid connected hybrid renewable power system offers the best overall performance compared to the grid: High power generation from renewable source (31%), good cost of energy (110 $/MWh – 13% cost reduction), and low CO2 emissions (430 kg CO2/MWh – 32% CO2 emissions reduction).
Keywords solar photovoltaics, PEM fuel cell, hybrid renewable power system, reverse osmosis (RO) desalination, modeling, simulation