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Cost and Thermodynamic Analysis of Wind-Hydrogen Production via Multi-energy Systems


With rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and environmental challenges, there is a strong push towards decarbonization and an emphasis on renewable energy, with wind energy emerging as a key player. The concept of multi-energy systems offers an innovative approach to decarbonization, with the potential to produce hydrogen as one of the output streams, creating another avenue for clean energy production. Hydrogen has significant potential for decarbonizing multiple sectors across buildings, transport, and industries. This paper explores the integration of wind energy and hydrogen production, particularly in areas where clean energy solutions are crucial, such as impoverished villages in Africa. It models three systems: distinct configurations of micro-multi-energy systems that generate electricity, space cooling, hot water, and hydrogen using the thermodynamics and cost approach. System 1 combines a wind turbine, a hydrogen-producing electrolyzer, and a heat pump for cooling and hot water. System 2 integrates this with a biomass-fired reheat-regenerative power cycle to balance out the intermittency of wind power. System 3 incorporates hydrogen production, a solid oxide fuel cell for continuous electricity production, an absorption cooling system for refrigeration, and a heat exchanger for hot water production. These systems are modeled with Engineering Equation Solver, and analyzed based on energy and exergy efficiencies, and on economic metrics like levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), cooling (LCOC), refrigeration (LCOR), and hydrogen (LCOH) under steady-state conditions. A sensitivity analysis of various parameters is presented to assess the change in performance. Systems were optimized using a multiobjective method, with maximizing exergy efficiency and minimizing total product unit cost used as objective functions. The results show that System 1 achieves 79.78 % energy efficiency and 53.94 % exergy efficiency. System 2 achieves efficiencies of 55.26 % and 27.05 % respectively, while System 3 attains 78.73 % and 58.51 % respectively. The levelized costs for micro-multi-energy System 1 are LCOE = 0.04993 $/kWh, LCOC = 0.004722 $/kWh, and LCOH = 0.03328 $/kWh. For System 2, these values are 0.03653 $/kWh, 0.003743 $/kWh, and 0.03328 $/kWh. In the case of System 3, they are 0.03736 $/kWh, 0.004726 $/kWh, and 0.03335 $/kWh, and LCOR = 0.03309 $/kWh. The results show that the systems modeled here have competitive performance with existing multi-energy systems, powered by other renewables. Integrating these systems will further the sustainable and net zero energy system transition, especially in rural communities.

Funding source: This study was supported by Natural Science Foundation of Sichuan (24NSFSC1803), Sichuan Provincial Key Lab for Power System-Wide Area Measurement (Grant No. 2021KP012), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(Grant No. ZYGX2019J034)and Science and Technology Innovation Talent Program of Sichuan Provincial (Grant No. 22CXRC0010). O.B. and I.S. were funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [EP/ R045518/1] through the IDLES programme.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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