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Cost Benefits of Optimizing Hydrogen Storage and Methanation Capacities for Power-to-Gas Plants in Dynamic Operation


Power-to-Gas technologies offer a promising approach for converting renewable electricity into a molecular form (fuel) to serve the energy demands of non-electric energy applications in all end-use sectors. The technologies have been broadly developed and are at the edge of a mass roll-out. The barriers that Power-to-Gas faces are no longer technical, but are, foremost, regulatory, and economic. This study focuses on a Power-to-Gas pathway, where electricity is first converted in a water electrolyzer into hydrogen, which is then synthetized with carbon dioxide to produce synthetic natural gas. A key aspect of this pathway is that an intermittent electricity supply could be used, which could reduce the amount of electricity curtailment from renewable energy generation. Interim storages would then be necessary to decouple the synthesized part from hydrogen production, to enable (I) longer continuous operation cycles for the methanation reactor, and (II) increased annual full-load hours, leading to an overall reduction in gas production costs. This work optimizes a Power-to-Gas plant configuration with respect to the cost benefits using a Monte Carlo-based simulation tool. The results indicate potential cost reductions of up to 17% in synthetic natural gas production by implementing well-balanced components and interim storages. This study also evaluates three different power sources which differ greatly in their optimal system configuration. Results from time-resolved simulations and sensitivity analyses for different plant designs and electricity sources are discussed with respect to technical and economic implications, so as to facilitate a plant design process for decision makers.

Countries: Finland ; Germany ; Switzerland

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