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Dynamic Simulation and Thermoeconomic Analysis of a Power to Gas System


Power to gas technology is an innovative solution to promote the use of renewable energy technologies, also including e-fuels. This work presents a techno-economic analysis of a novel concept of a renewable power to gas plant. A 2.4 MW solid oxide electrolyzer fed by a 3.1 MW photovoltaic field is coupled with a biomethane production unit to produce synthetic methane by means of a 2.4 MW methanation unit. The hydrogen produced by the electrolyzer is used for the methanation reaction aiming at producing natural gas at net zero carbon emissions. The CO2 is obtained as a byproduct of the membrane separation in a biogas upgrading unit. The methanation unit and the electrolyzer models are developed in MatLab and integrated in TRNSYS to perform a dynamic simulation of all the components and the system as a whole. Dynamic simulation results show a 42% increase in the production of natural gas from renewable energy sources. The thermoeconomic analysis shows a remarkable primary energy saving index of 176% and a total amount of 896 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions saved. As expected, the critical point is the economic feasibility since the simple payback is 9 years in case local incentives and subsidies are considered. The parametric analysis on the photovoltaic capacity shows that the simple payback dramatically depends on such design parameter, varying from 6 years in the best case scenario to 92 years in the worst case scenario.

Funding source: Project funded under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), Mission 4 Component 2 Investment 1.3 - Call for tender No. 1561 of 11.10.2022 of Ministero dell’Universit` a e della Ricerca (MUR); funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU• Award Number: Project code PE0000021, Concession Decree No. 1561 of 11.10.2022 adopted by Ministero dell’Universita ` e della Ricerca (MUR), CUP E63C22002160007, Project title: “Network 4 Energy Sustainable Transition – NEST”
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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