PV/T Feasibility and Cost Assessment

  • Ali H. A. Al-Waeli
  • Hussein A. Kazem
  • Miqdam Tariq Chaichan
  • Kamaruzzaman Sopian


Discussion of economic aspects of any technology is critical to establish its utility and market potential. Given that PV/T is used as an energy source, it must be cost-competitive with conventional renewable energy and fossil fuel sources. For research and development to understand and evaluate the economic aspect of PV/T systems, it is recommended to study factors such as life cycle cost analysis (LCCA). This chapter presents the LCCA and shows how to use the method in research, by calculating parameters such as life cycle cost (LCC), cost of energy (COE), etc., as provided in other works. The levelized cost of heat (LCOH) is introduced to view the economics of the thermal aspect, given that PV/T generates heat as well. Moreover, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is explained in terms of concept and method of calculation and briefly reviewed in different research works. To assess the environmental impacts which can be linked to economic aspects in some cases, the life cycle assessment (LCA) is introduced. Finally, the payback period (PBP) is explained in concept and briefly discussed in terms of its utility and disadvantages.


Life cycle cost (LCC) Cost of energy (CoE) Levelized cost of heat (LCOH) Life cycle assessment (LCA) Payback period (PBP) 


  1. 1.
    H.M.S. Al-Maamary, H.A. Kazem, M.T. Chaichan, The impact of the oil price fluctuations on common renewable energies in GCC countries. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 75, 989–1007 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    H.M.S. Al-Maamary, H.A. Kazem, M.T. Chaichan, Renewable energy and GCC states energy challenges in the 21st century: a review. Int. J. Comput. Appl. Sci. IJOCAAS 2(1), 11–18 (2017)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    H.M.S. Al-Maamary, H.A. Kazem, M.T. Chaichan, Climate change: the game changer in the GCC region. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 76, 555–576 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    N. Chimres, S. Wongwises, Critical review of the current status of solar energy in Thailand. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 58, 198–207 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    IRENA, Renewable Energy Statistics 2017, The International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi. (2017). See also URL
  6. 6.
    IRENA and CPI, Global Landscape of Renewable Energy Finance, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi. (2018). See also URL
  7. 7.
    IRENA, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi. (2018). See also URL
  8. 8.
    S. Comello, S. Reichelstein, A. Sahoo, The road ahead for solar PV power. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 92, 744–756 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    P.E. Campana, L. Wasthage, W. Nookuea, Y. Tan, J. Yan, Optimization and assessment of floating and floating-tracking PV systems integrated in on- and off-grid hybrid energy systems. Solar Energy 177, 782–795 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    M.Z. Farahmand, M.E. Nazari, S. Shamlou, Optimal sizing of an autonomous hybrid PV-wind system considering battery and diesel generator. Iranian Conf. Electr. Eng. (ICEE), pp. 1048–1053 (2017)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Honarmand, A. Zakariazadeh, S. Jadid, Optimal scheduling of electric vehicles in an intelligent parking lot considering vehicle-to-grid concept and battery condition. Energy 65, 572–579 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    A.S.O. Ogunjuyigbe, T.R. Ayodele, O.A. Akinola, Optimal allocation and sizing of PV/Wind/split-diesel/battery hybrid energy system for minimizing life cycle cost, carbon emission and dump energy of remote residential building. Appl. Energy 171, 153–171 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    F. Safdarian, M.E. Nazari, Optimal sizing of a solar-thermal collector for residential applications using gravitational search algorithm. Int. J. Mech. Eng. Auto 2, 497–505 (2015a)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Energy Policy and Planning Office. Energy Statistics; 2016.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    S. Kumar, Assessment of renewables for energy security and carbon mitigation in Southeast Asia: the case of Indonesia and Thailand. Appl. Energy 163, 63–70 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    A. Modarresi Ghazvini, J. Olamaei, Optimal sizing of autonomous hybrid PV system with considerations for V2G parking lot as controllable load based on a heuristic optimization algorithm. Solar Energy 184, 30–39 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    M. Das, M.A.K. Singh, A. Biswas, Techno-economic optimization of an off-grid hybrid renewable energy system using metaheuristic optimization approaches – case of a radio transmitter station in India. Energ. Conver. Manage. 185, 339–352 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    M.A. Ramli, H.R.E.H. Bouchekara, A.S. Alghamdi, Optimal sizing of PV/wind/diesel hybrid microgrid system using multi-objective self-adaptive differential evolution algorithm. Renew. Energy 121, 400–411 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    S. Sanajaoba, E. Fernandez, Maiden application of Cuckoo Search algorithm for optimal sizing of a remote hybrid renewable energy system. Renew. Energy 96, 1–10 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    J.L. Bernal-Agustín, R. Dufo-López, Efficient design of hybrid renewable energy systems using evolutionary algorithms. Energ. Conver. Manage. 50(3), 479–489 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Y. Sawle, S.C. Gupta, A.K. Bohre, Socio-techno-economic design of hybrid renewable energy system using optimization techniques. Renew. Energy 119, 459–472 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    S. Sinha, S.S. Chandel, Review of software tools for hybrid renewable energy systems. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 32, 192–205 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    H.A. Kazem, H.A.S. Al-Badi, A.S. Al Busaidi, M.T. Chaichan, Optimum design and evaluation of hybrid solar/wind/diesel power system for Masirah Island. Environ. Develop. Sustain. 19(5), 1761–1778 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    S. Gangwar, D. Bhanja, A. Biswas, Cost, reliability, and sensitivity of a stand-alone hybrid renewable energy system – a case study on a lecture building with low load factor. J Renew Sustain Energy 7(1), 013109 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    A. Singh, P. Baredar, B. Gupta, Techno-economic feasibility analysis of hydrogen fuel cell and solar photovoltaic hybrid renewable energy system for academic research building. Energ. Conver. Manage. 145, 398–414 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    H.A. Kazem, A.H.A. Al-Waeli, M.T. Chaichan, A.S. Al-Mamari, A.H. Al-Kabi, Design, measurement and evaluation of photovoltaic pumping system for rural areas in Oman. Environ. Develop. Sustain. 19(3), 1041–1053 (2017). 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    M.T. Chaichan, H.A. Kazem, Generating Electricity Using Photovoltaic Solar Plants in Iraq (Springer). ISBN: 978-3-319-75030-9. Scholar
  28. 28.
    A.H.A. Al-Waeli, M.T. Chaichan, K. Sopian, H.A. Kazem, H.B. Mahood, A.A. Khadom, Modeling and experimental validation of a PV/T system using nanofluid coolant and nano-PCM. Solar Energy 177, 178–191 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    A.H.A. Al-Waeli, K. Sopian, H.A. Kazem, M.T. Chaichan, Nanofluid based grid connected PV/T systems in Malaysia: A techno-economical assessment. Sustain. Energy Technol, Assessm. 28, 81–95 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    A.H.A. Al-Waeli, M.T. Chaichan, H.A. Kazem, K. Sopian, Evaluation and analysis of nanofluid and surfactant impact on photovoltaic-thermal systems. Case Study Thermal Eng. 13, 100392 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    A.H.A. Al-Waeli, M.T. Chaichan, K. Sopian, H.A. Kazem, Influence of the base fluid on the thermo-physical properties of nanofluids with surfactant. Case Study of Thermal Engineering, Accepted 13, 100340 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    A.H. Al-Waeli, M.T. Chaichan, H.A. Kazem, K. Sopian, A. Ibrahim, S. Mat, M.H. Ruslan, Numerical study on the effect of operating nanofluids of photovoltaic thermal system (PVT) on the convective heat transfer. Case Study Thermal Eng. 12, 405–413 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    A.H.A. Al-Waeli, H.A. Kazem, K. Sopian, M.T. Chaichan, Techno-economical assessment of grid connected PV/T using nanoparticles and water as base-fluid systems in Malaysia. Int. J. Sustain. Energy 37(6), 558–578 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    A.H.A. Al-Waeli, M.T. Chaichan, K. Sopian, H.A. Kazem, Comparison study of indoor/outdoor experiments of SiC nanofluid as a base-fluid for a photovoltaic thermal PV/T system enhancement. Energy 151, 33–44 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    M. Tripathy, H. Joshi, S.K. Panda, Energy payback time and life-cycle cost analysis of building integrated photovoltaic thermal system influenced by adverse effect of shadow. Appl. Energy 208, 376–389 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    H. Li, J. Song, Q. Sun, F. Wallin, Q. Zhang, A dynamic price model based on levelized cost for district heating. Energy Ecol. Environ. 4(1), 15–25 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    H. Li, Q. Sun, Q. Zhang, F. Wallin, A review of the pricing mechanisms for district heating systems. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 43, 56–65 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    A. Hassanzadeh, L. Jiang, R. Winston, Coupled optical-thermal modeling, design and experimental testing of a novel medium-temperature solar thermal collector with pentagon absorber. Solar Energy 173, 1248–1261 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    P. Kurup, C. Turchi, Potential for solar industrial process heat in the United States: a look at California. In AIP Conference Proceedings 2016 May 31 (Vol. 1734, No. 1, p. 110001). AIP PublishingGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    B.C. Riggs, R. Biedenharn, C. Dougher, Y.V. Ji, Q. Xu, V. Romanin, D.S. Codd, J.M. Zahler, M.D. Escarra, Techno-economic analysis of hybrid PV/T systems for process heat using electricity to subsidize the cost of heat. Appl. Energy 208, 1370–1378 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Donald J. Johnston, Projected Costs of Generating Electricity: 2005 Update (Nuclear Energy Agency/International Energy Agency/Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Château de la Muette, Paris, 2005)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    K. Branker, M.J.M. Pathak, J.M. Pearce, A review of solar photovoltaic levelized cost of electricity. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 15, 4470–4482 (2011). Scholar
  43. 43.
    V. Fthenakis, J.E. Mason, K. Zweibel, The technical, geographical, and economic feasibility for solar energy to supply the energy needs of the US. Energy Policy 37, 387–399 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    M. Bruck, P. Sandborn, N. Goudarzi, A Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) model for wind farms that include Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Renew. Energy 122, 131–139 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Lindsay Miller, , Scott Harper, Someshwar Singh, Evaluating the link between LCOE and PPA elements and structure for wind energy, Energ. Strat. Rev., vol. 16, pp. 33–42, 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    X. Ouyang, B. Lin, Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of renewable energies and required subsidies in China. Energy Policy 70, 64–73 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    F. Ueckerdt, L. Hirth, G. Luderer, O. Edenhofer, System LCOE: what are the costs of variable renewables? Energy., vol. 63, 61–75 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    J. Hernández-Moro, J.M. Martínez-Duart, Analytical model for solar PV and CSP electricity costs: present LCOE values and their future evolution. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 20, 119–132 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    C. Kost, S. Shammugam, V. Jülch, H.-T. Nguyen, T. Schlegl, Levelized Cost of Electricity Renewable Energy Technologies, Report for Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems Ise, March 2018Google Scholar
  50. 50.
  51. 51.
    GHG Product Life Cycle Assessments. Ecometrica. Retrieved on: 25 April 2013Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    G. Finnveden, M.Z. Hauschild, T. Ekvall, J. Guined, R. Heijungs, S. Hellweg, A. Koehler, D. Pennington, S. Suh, Recent developments in life cycle assessment. J. Environ. Manage. 91, 1–21 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    S. Lundie, A. Ciroth, G. Huppes, Inventory methods in LCA: towards consistency and improvement – Final report. UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative (2007)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    O. Eriksson, G. Finnveden, T. Ekvall, A. Björklund, Life cycle assessment of fuels for district heating: a comparison of waste incineration, biomass- and natural gas combustion. Energy Policy 35, 1346–1362 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Mattsson, N., Unger, T., Ekvall, T., 2003. Effects of perturbations in a dynamic system – the case of nordic power production. In: Unger, T. (Ed.), Common Energy and Climate Strategies for the Nordic Countries – A Model Analysis. PhD thesis, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    M.A. Curran, Life cycle assessment: principles and practice, Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), report no. EPA/600/R-06/060, 2006Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    W.H. Cunningham, B. Joseph, Energy conservation, price increases and payback periods, in NA – Advances in Consumer Research, ed. by K. Hunt, vol. Volume 05, (Association for Consumer Research, Ann Abor, MI, 1978), pp. 201–205Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    N. Sengar, P. Dashora, M. Gupta, S. Mahavar, Experimental studies, energy savings and payback periods of a cylindrical building-material-housing solar cooker. Int. J. Energy Inform. Commun. 2(3), 75–84 (2011)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    H.A. Kazem, Renewable energy in Oman: status and future prospects. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 15, 3465–3469 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    M. AlamImteaz, A. Ahsan, Solar panels: real efficiencies, potential productions and payback periods for major Australian cities. Sustain. Energy Technol. Assessm. 25, 119–125 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali H. A. Al-Waeli
    • 1
  • Hussein A. Kazem
    • 2
  • Miqdam Tariq Chaichan
    • 3
  • Kamaruzzaman Sopian
    • 1
  1. 1.Solar Energy Research InstituteUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringSohar UniversitySoharOman
  3. 3.Energy and Renewable Energies Technology CenterUniversity of TechnologyBaghdadIraq

Personalised recommendations