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Optimal Expansion of a Multi-domain Virtual Power Plant for Green Hydrogen Production to Decarbonise Seaborne Passenger Transportation


Many industrialised nations recently concentrated their focus on hydrogen as a viable option for the decarbonisation of fossil-intensive sectors, including maritime transportation. A sustainable alternative to the conventional production of hydrogen based on fossil hydrocarbons is water electrolysis powered by renewable energy sources. This paper presents a detailed techno-economic optimisation model for sizing an electrolyser and a hydrogen storage embedded in a multi-domain virtual power plant to produce green hydrogen for seaborne passenger transportation. We base our numerical analysis on three years of historical data from a renewable-dominated 60/10 kV substation on the Danish island of Bornholm, and on data for ferries to the mainland of Sweden. Our analysis shows that an electrolyser system serves as a valuable flexibility asset on the electrical demand side, while supporting the thermal management of the district heating system and contributing to meeting the ferries hydrogen demand. With a sized electrolyser of 9.63 MW and a hydrogen storage of 1.45 t, the hydrogen assets are able to take up a large share of the local excess electricity generation. The waste heat of the electrolyser delivers a significant share of 21.4% of the annual district heating demand. Moreover, the substation can supply 26% of the hydrogen demand of the ferries from local resources. We further examine the sensitivity of the asset sizing towards investment costs, electrolyser efficiency and hydrogen market prices.

Funding source: This work has been financially supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through the InsulaE project, under Grant Agreement No. 824433. The goal of this project is to demonstrate innovative energy solutions for decarbonising European islands.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Denmark

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