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Optimal Design for a Hybrid Microgrid-hydrogen Storage Facility in Saudi Arabia


Background: Sustainable development requires access to afordable, reliable, and efcient energy to lift billions of people out of poverty and improve their standard of living. The development of new and renewable forms of energy that emit less CO2 may not materialize quickly enough or at a price point that allows people to attain the standard of living they desire and deserve. As a result, a parallel path to sustainability must be developed that uses both renewable and clean carbon-based methods. Hybrid microgrids are promoted to solve various electrical and energy-related issues that incorporate renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics, wind, diesel generation, or a combination of these sources. Utilizing microgrids in electric power generation has several benefts including clean energy, increased grid stability, and reduced congestion. Despite these advantages, microgrids are not frequently deployed because of economic concerns. To address these fnancial concerns, it is necessary to explore the ideal confguration of micro-grids based on the quantity, quality, and availability of sustainable energy sources used to install the microgrid and the optimal design of microgrid components. These considerations are refected in net present value and levelized energy cost. Methods: HOMER was used to simulate numerous system confgurations and select the most feasible solution according to the net present value, levelizied cost of energy and hydrogen, operating cost, and renewable fraction. HOMER performed a repeated algorithm process to determine the most feasible system configuration and parameters with the least economic costs and highest benefits to achieve a practically feasible system configuration. Results: This article aimed to construct a cost-effective microgrid system for Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu city using five configurations using excess energy to generate hydrogen. The obtained results indicate that the optimal configuration for the specified area is a hybrid photovoltaic/wind/battery/generator/fuel cell/hydrogen electrolyzer microgrid with a net present value and levelized energy cost of $10.6 billion and $0.15/kWh. Conclusion: With solar photovoltaic and wind generation costs declining, building electrolyzers in locations with excellent renewable resource conditions, such as Saudi Arabia, could become a low-cost hydrogen supply option, even when accounting for the transmission and distribution costs of transporting hydrogen from renewable resource locations to end-users. The optimum confguration can generate up to 32,132 tons of hydrogen per year (tH2/year), and 380,824 tons per year of CO2 emissions can be avoided.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Saudi Arabia

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