Hybrid Power-heat Microgrid Solution Using Hydrogen as an Energy Vector for Residential Houses in Spain. A Case Study


In order to favor a transition to a renewable energy economy, it is necessary to study the possible permeation of renewable energy sources not only in the electric grid or industrial scale, but also in the small householding scale. One of the most interesting technologies available for this purpose is solar energy, since it is a mature technology that can be easily installed in every rooftop. Thus, a techno-economic assessment was carried out to evaluate the installation of a solar-based power-heat hybrid microgrid considering the use of hydrogen as an energy vector in a typical residential house in Spain. Lead-acid batteries plus the photovoltaic and solar thermal energy installation are complemented with a hydrogen system composed of an electrolyzer, two metal hydride bottles, and a fuel cell. A simulation tool has been generated using experimental models developed and validated with real equipment for each one of the electric microgrid component. Three operating modes were tested making use of this tool to better manage the energy consumed/produced and optimize the economic output of the facility. The results show that setting up a hydrogen-based microgrid in a residential house is unviable today, mainly due to the high cost of hydrogen generation and consumption equipment. If only solar energy is considered, the microgrid inversion (12.500 €) is recovered in ten years. On the other hand, selling the electricity output has almost no repercussions considering current electrical rates in Spain. Finally, while using an optimization algorithm to manage energy use, battery life-spam, and economic benefit slightly increase. However, this profit may not be enough to justify the use of a more complex control system. The results of this research will help users, renewable energy companies, investigators, and policymakers to better understand the different factors influencing the spread of renewable smart grids in households and propose solutions to address these.

Funding source: This work has been carried out in the framework of the project “HyBuildings: Diseno, ˜ dimensionado y control de micro-redes híbridas t´ermico-el´ectricas basadas en hidrogeno ´ y energías renovables para aplicacion ´ en el sector de la edificacion´ ” (PY18-RE-0028) funded by Consejería de Conocimiento, Investigacion ´ y Universidad of the Junta de Andalucía (Spain).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Spain

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