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Precise Dynamic Modelling of Real-World Hybrid Solar-Hydrogen Energy Systems for Grid-Connected Buildings


Hybrid renewable hydrogen energy systems could play a key role in delivering sustainable solutions for enabling the Net Zero ambition; however, the lack of exact computational modelling tools for sizing the integrated system components and simulating their real-world dynamic behaviour remains a key technical challenge against their widespread adoption. This paper addresses this challenge by developing a precise dynamic model that allows sizing the rated capacity of the hybrid system components and accurately simulating their real-world dynamic behaviour while considering effective energy management between the grid-integrated system components to ensure that the maximum possible proportion of energy demand is supplied from clean sources rather than the grid. The proposed hybrid system components involve a solar PV system, electrolyser, pressurised hydrogen storage tank and fuel cell. The developed hybrid system model incorporates a set of mathematical models for the individual system components. The developed precise dynamic model allows identifying the electrolyser’s real-world hydrogen production levels in response to the input intermittent solar energy production while also simulating the electrochemical behaviour of the fuel cell and precisely quantifying its real-world output power and hydrogen consumption in response to load demand variations. Using a university campus case study building in Scotland, the effectiveness of the developed model has been assessed by benchmarking comparison between its results versus those obtained from a generic model in which the electrochemical characteristics of the electrolyser and fuel cell systems were not taken into consideration. Results from this comparison have demonstrated the potential of the developed model in simulating the real-world dynamic operation of hybrid solar hydrogen energy systems for grid-connected buildings while sizing the exact capacity of system components, avoiding oversizing associated with underutilisation costs and inaccurate simulation.

Funding source: This research is part of studentship no. ENG20-02, funded by the School of Engineering at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Egypt ; United Kingdom

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