Determination of the optimal solar photovoltaic (PV) system for Sudan

Sulaiman O Fadlallah, Djamal Eddine Benhadji Serradj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Electricity access in Africa is a major challenge in rural areas. Despite considerable potential for the use of solar energy, investments in renewable energy projects are minimal due to poor promotion of solar energy. As a result, many people still rely on private diesel generators, which release significant levels of pollutants, and have negative effects on both humans and the environment. Situated in the sunbelt, Sudan is one of the largest countries in Africa endowed with an extremely high solar irradiation potential. However, no work has been done in the literature with a strategic context to study specifically the feasibility of renewable energy systems in Sudan despite the abundance of solar resource. The aim of this study was to utilize Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) to identify the optimal solar photovoltaic (PV) system for Sudan's conditions, identify the best locations, and analyze the costs and the pollution that might be avoided by employing a PV system in place of a diesel system. HOMER simulation results demonstrated that the optimal type of PV for Sudan is the Studer VarioTrack VT-65 with Generic PV. The utilization of a solar PV system will avoid the production of approximately 27 million kg/year of pollutants and will reduce the cost of energy to USD$ 0.08746/kWh. The optimal locations found in Sudan for utilizing solar energy were Wawa, followed by Kutum, Wadi Halfa, Dongola and Al-Goled due to their low costs of electricity, high clearness index and high levels of solar radiation. Given the recent rapid decrease in PV pricing and predictions for continued reductions, the costs of PV were varied to deliver an understanding on the impact of PV costs on the project economics. Reducing the PV costs by 25% has a significant impact; the cost of energy produced reduces in the range of USD$ 0.06697/kWh and USD$ 0.06808/kWh, while a reduction in PV costs of 50% further reduces the cost of energy, ranging between USD$ 0.05273/kWh and USD$ 0.05361/kWh in the top five locations in Sudan. The output of this study is projected to raising the potentiality awareness of renewable energy in Sudan and delivering a valuable reference regarding the optimal utilization of solar PV system in energy sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-813
Number of pages14
JournalSolar Energy
Early online date21 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


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