Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert Boehm, Chair

Second Committee Member

Yi-Tung Chen

Third Committee Member

Suresh Sadineni

Graduate Faculty Representative

Yahia Baghzouz

Number of Pages



The promise of large-scale use of renewables such as wind and solar for supplying electrical power is tempered by the sources' transient behavior and the impact this would have on the operation of the grid. Among the methods cited for addressing some of those concerns are exploring the complementary nature of solar and wind power generation, and through the use of supplemental energy storage. While the technology for the latter has not been proven to be economical on a large scale at the present time, some assessments of what magnitude is required can be made. An energy-based analysis of utility scale hybrid electric power systems based on wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), energy storage and conventional plants has been performed. The main objective was to optimally size the required energy storage capacities for the given load profile with imposed grid supply generations from wind, solar PV and limited conventional plants outputs. A second objective was to address the question of optimal mix between solar and wind for a considered hypothetical case of 100% renewable energy based grid. The study was carried out using a Southwestern U.S. utility grid hourly load data of 2008. NREL's Solar Advisor Model (SAM 2010) with TMY3 solar data was used to estimate the solar PV system power generation whereas the wind power output data was obtained from NREL/3TIER Group modeled wind data set developed for the U.S. Western Wind and Solar Integration Studies. It was found for the study area that the diurnal and seasonal output profiles of solar PV and wind power do not have the desired complementary nature for exploitation, with a significant weighting (95%/5%) in favor of solar PV when deployed in tandem. The required energy storage capacity was observed to be highly influenced by the flexibility (or base loading) of the grid system.


Applied sciences; Electric energy storage; Energy storage; Electric utilities; Hybrid power system; Photovoltaic power generation; Photovoltaic power systems; Renewable energy sources; Solar photovoltaic (PV) power; Wind power


Energy Systems | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Power and Energy

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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