Cost Optimization of a Stand-Alone Hybrid Energy System with Fuel Cell and PV


Renewable energy has become very popular in recent years. The amount of renewable generation has increased in both grid-connected and stand-alone systems. This is because it can provide clean energy in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly fashion. Among all varieties, photovoltaic (PV) is the ultimate rising star. Integration of other technologies with solar is enhancing the efficiency and reliability of the system. In this paper a fuel cell–solar photovoltaic (FC-PV)-based hybrid energy system has been proposed to meet the electrical load demand of a small community center in India. The system is developed with PV panels, fuel cell, an electrolyzer and hydrogen storage tank. Detailed mathematical modeling of this system as well as its operation algorithm have been presented. Furthermore, cost optimization has been performed to determine ratings of PV and Hydrogen system components. The objective is to minimize the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of this standalone system. This optimization is performed in HOMER software as well as another tool using an artificial bee colony (ABC). The results obtained by both methods have been compared in terms of cost effectiveness. It is evident from the results that for a 68 MWh/yr of electricity demand is met by the 129 kW Solar PV, 15 kW Fuel cell along with a 34 kW electrolyzer and a 20 kg hydrogen tank with a LPSP of 0.053%. The LCOE is found to be in 0.228 $/kWh. Results also show that use of more sophisticated algorithms such as ABC yields more optimized solutions than package programs, such as HOMER. Finally, operational details for FC-PV hybrid system using IEC 61850 inter-operable communication is presented. IEC 61850 information models for FC, electrolyzer, hydrogen tank were developed and relevent IEC 61850 message exchanges for energy management in FC-PV hybrid system are demonstrated.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: India ; Japan

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