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Micro-grid Design and Life-cycle Assessment of a Mountain Hut's Stand-alone Energy System with Hydrogen Used for Seasonal Storage


Mountain huts, as special, stand-alone, micro-grid systems, are not connected to a power grid and represent a burden on the environment. The micro-grid has to be flexible to cover daily and seasonal fluctuations. Heat and electricity are usually generated with fossil fuels due to the simple on-off operation. By introducing renewable energy sources (RESs), the generation of energy could be more sustainable, but the generation and consumption must be balanced. The paper describes the integration of a hydrogen-storage system (HSS) and a battery-storage system (BattS) in a mountain hut. The HSS involves a proton-exchange-membrane water electrolyser (PEMWE), a hydrogen storage tank (H2 tank), a PEM fuel cell (PEMFC) and a BattS consisting of lead-acid batteries. Eight micro-grid configurations were modelled using HOMER and evaluated from the technical, environmental and economic points of view. A life-cycle assessment analysis was made from the cradle to the gate. The micro-grid configurations with the HSS achieve, on average, a more than 70% decrease in the environmental impacts in comparison to the state of play at the beginning, but require a larger investment. Comparing the HSS with the BattS as a seasonal energy storage, the hydrogen-based technology had advantages for all of the assessed criteria.

Countries: Slovenia ; Spain

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