American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Photovoltaic Technology of Electricity Generation for Desert Camping

Shafiqur Rehman, Ali A. Shash and Omar S. Baghabra Al-Amoudi

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2005.50.58

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 1, Issue 1

Pages 50-58


This study presents a case study on the utilization of global solar radiation data on horizontal surface to perform economical feasibility of using Photovoltaic (PV) panels with battery backup to meet a small load for a camping site in Saudi Arabia. The analysis considers three scenarios with daily average energy demands of: (i) full load, (ii) 75% load and (iii) half load with annual peak load of 3.84, 3.06 and 2.27 kW, respectively. Each of these loads is further studied economically to investigate the effect of battery storage for 1 to 5 days. The study also compares the cost of electricity generation in $/kWh from PV system and diesel generating systems. The lower mean temperature (~20ºC) and high intensity of radiation (~ 6.3 kWh m-2/day) in Abha make it a promising site for the usage of PV systems for desert camping. Analysis of the data indicates that the battery storage capacity cost plays an important role in the overall cost of the PV system. The economical indicators suggest that larger PV systems be preferred over the smaller ones with minimal storage option. The energy generation cost analysis indicated that the diesel generating cost was found to be 29, 56 and 116% higher than the PV system for full, 75% and half load systems, respectively.


© 2005 Shafiqur Rehman, Ali A. Shash and Omar S. Baghabra Al-Amoudi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.