Design and analyzing a hybrid hydro and solar photovoltaic system for rural areas in Malaysia

renewable energy hybrid renewable energy system (HRES) microgrid hydro power solar photovoltaic (PV)


  • Brian Dean Soon
    Faculty of Engineering, Computing, and Science Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus Kuching, Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Chin-Leong Wooi Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy (CERE), School of Electrical System Engineering, Pauh Putra Main Campus Universiti Malaysia Perlis, 02600, Arau, Perlis, Malaysia, Malaysia
October 10, 2023


Some rural areas worldwide, including Malaysia, are not electrified due to geographical constraints, less infrastructure development, and isolation from the main power grid. In addition, renewable energy (RE) sources are considered alternatives to replace conventional (non-RE) sources that cause pollution. However, RE sources have limitations, such as the dependency of weather and geological conditions. To address this issue, a hybrid renewable energy system (HRES) is introduced by connecting one RE and non-RE source or more than one RE with or without non-RE sources. In this study, a stand-alone hybrid hydro and solar photovoltaic (PV) HRES was designed for Rumah Bada in Nanga Talong, Ulu Engkari. As the site has limited information on load consumption and geographical data, estimations were done based on similar studies. The available solar PV and hydro system at the site was identified with the respective parameters. The proposed system was based on the hybrid AC-DC microgrid, along with two alternatives based on the AC and DC microgrid, respectively. Technical analysis was done to determine the capability of the system by calculating the power generated during different periods and performing the load flow analysis using the PowerWorld Simulator. Apart from that, economic analysis was done to find out the most cost-efficient system by calculating the net present cost (NPC) and cost of energy (COE) using HOMER Pro.