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Dynamic Simulation and Thermoeconomic Analysis of a Hybrid Renewable System Based on PV and Fuel Cell Coupled with Hydrogen Storage


The production of “green hydrogen” is currently one of the hottest topics in the field of renewable energy systems research. Hydrogen storage is also becoming more and more attractive as a flexible solution to mitigate the power fluctuations of solar energy systems. The most promising technology for electricity-to-hydrogen conversion, and vice versa, is the reversible solid-oxide cell (SOC). This device is still very expensive, but it exhibits excellent performance under dynamic operating conditions compared to the competing devices. This work presents the dynamic simulation of a prototypal renewable plant combining a 50 kW photovoltaic (PV) field with a 50 kW solid-oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) and a compressed hydrogen tank. The electricity is used to meet the energy demand of a dwelling located in the area of Campi Flegrei (Naples). The SOC efficiency is simulated by developing a mathematical model in MATLAB®. The model also calculates the cell operating temperature as a function of the input current. Once the optimal values of the operating parameters of the SOC are calculated, the model is integrated in the transient system simulation tool (TRNSYS) for dynamic analysis. Furthermore, this work presents a parametric analysis of the hydrogen storage system (HSS). The results of the energy and environmental analyses show that the proposed system can reach a primary energy saving by 70% and an amount of saved CO2 of 28 tons/year. Some possible future market scenarios are considered for the economic analysis. In the most realistic case, the optimal configuration shows a simple pay back lower than 10 years and a profit index of 46%.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Italy

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