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Hybrid Renewable Hydrogen Energy Solution for Application in Remote Mines


Mining operations in remote locations rely heavily on diesel fuel for the electricity, haulage and heating demands. Such significant diesel dependency imposes large carbon footprints to these mines. Consequently, mining companies are looking for better energy strategies to lower their carbon footprints. Renewable energies can relieve this over-reliance on fossil fuels. Yet, in spite of their many advantages, renewable systems deployment on a large scale has been very limited, mainly due to the high battery storage system. Using hydrogen for energy storage purposes due to its relatively cheaper technology can facilitate the application of renewable energies in the mining industry. Such cost-prohibitive issues prevent achieving 100% penetration rate of renewables in mining applications. This paper offers a novel integrated renewable–multi-storage (wind turbine/battery/fuel cell/thermal storage) solution with six different configurations to secure 100% off-grid mining power supply as a stand-alone system. A detailed comparison between the proposed configurations is presented with recommendations for implementation. A parametric study is also performed, identifying the effect of different parameters (i.e., wind speed, battery market price, and fuel cell market price) on economics of the system. The result of the present study reveals that standalone renewable energy deployment in mine settings is technically and economically feasible with the current market prices, depending on the average wind speed at the mine location.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Canada

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