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Techno-Economic Assessment of Green Hydrogen Production by an Off-Grid Photovoltaic Energy System


Green hydrogen production is essential to meeting the conference of the parties’ (COP) decarbonization goals; however, this method of producing hydrogen is not as cost-effective as hydrogen production from fossil fuels. This study analyses an off-grid photovoltaic energy system designed to feed a proton-exchange membrane water electrolyzer for hydrogen production to evaluate the optimal electrolyzer size. The system has been analyzed in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, using experimental meteorological data. The 12 kWp photovoltaic array is positioned at the optimal annual tilt angle for the selected site. The temperature effect on photovoltaic modules is taken into consideration. Several electrolyzers with capacities in the range of 2–14 kW were investigated to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. The simulation process was conducted using MATLAB and considering the project life span from 2021 to 2035. The results indicate that various potentially cost-competitive alternatives exist for systems with market combinations resembling renewable hydrogen wholesale. It has been found that the annual energy generated by the analyzed photovoltaic system is 18,892 kWh at 4313 operating hours, and the obtained hydrogen production cost ranges from USD 5.39/kg to USD 3.23/kg. The optimal electrolyzer capacity matches a 12 kWp PV system equal to 8 kW, producing 37.5 kg/year/kWp of hydrogen for USD 3.23/kg.

Funding source: The present work was partially supported by the Polish Ministry of Science (Grant AGH No.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Iraq ; Poland

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