India has always been victim of power failures or blackouts and the recent July 2012 countrywide blackout is a perfect example for it. It is expected that due to the widening gap between supply and demand, such instances of power failure would occur more regularly in future. Such blackouts are also be foreseen in other parts of the world. The electricity grids in many countries are highly centralized and are mostly dependent on fossil-fuel based energy sources (coal, oil, natural gas etc). Due to the rapid rise in the living standards of developing countries such as India and China, there is an increase in demand for electricity for running various appliances, as well as for heating and air-conditioning equipment. Such an increased in demand places tremendous strain on ailing centralized grid burning fossil fuel. The use of renewable energy sources (such as solar and wind) could potentially allow large amount of demand to be met though alternative means and offset the demand on the grid.
The advancement in technology has encouraged the implementation of renewable resources especially solar and wind. Hybrid power systems (HPS) that consist of these resources can significantly lower storage requirements. Furthermore, besides being cost-efficient, it is coherent to the weather conditions since solar and wind complement each other well. For highly efficient hybrid power systems to be developed, a significant degree of research must be applied to further their development. This includes tasks such as modeling these systems and applying proficient control algorithms to maximize efficiency. This paper focuses on simulation of an HPS consisting of a photovoltaic (PV) module, wind turbine (WT), and a lead acid battery through MATLAB/SIMULINK software. Moreover, a control algorithm is proposed, which leads to an efficient and autonomous operation of the HPS, along with maximizing power output from PV module and WT. The model and control system were tested using sample hourly solar radiation, temperature, and wind speed data to generate the power output from the PV module and WT, which was then processed through the proposed algorithm, to power a sample hourly load profile. The results indicate that a simple HPS can meet the type of load demand provided in an efficient and effective manner.