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Simulation Methodology for an Off-grid Solar–battery–water Electrolyzer Plant: Simultaneous Optimization of Component Capacities and System Control


The capacity of each component in an off-grid water electrolyzer hydrogen production plant integrated with solar photovoltaics and a battery energy storage system represents a significant factor affecting the viability and reliability of the system. This paper describes a novel method that optimizes simultaneously the component capacities and finite-state machine based control of the system to minimize the cost of green hydrogen production. The components and control in the system are referenced to a proton exchange membrane water electrolyzer stack with a fixed nominal power of 4.5 kW. The end results are thus scalable by changing the nominal power of the electrolyzer. Simulations are carried out based on data collected from a residential solar photovoltaic installation with 300 s time resolution. Optimization of the system is performed with particle swarm optimization algorithm. A sensitivity analysis performed over the prices of the different components reveals that the price of the water electrolyzer has the greatest impact on the green hydrogen production cost. It is found that the price of the battery has to be below 0.3 e/Wh to become a feasible solution as overnight energy storage.

Funding source: Business Finland is acknowledged for the main financial support of the P2XEnable project (
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Finland

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