An approach for sizing a PV–battery–electrolyzer–fuel cell energy system

A case study at a field lab

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Hydrogen is becoming increasingly popular as a clean, secure, and affordable energy source for the future. This study develops an approach for designing a PV–battery–electrolyzer–fuel cell energy system that utilizes hydrogen as a long-term storage medium and battery as a short-term storage medium. The system is designed to supply load demand primarily through direct electricity generation in the summer, and indirect electricity generation through hydrogen in the winter. The sizing of system components is based on the direct electricity and indirect hydrogen demand, with a key input parameter being the load sizing factor, which determines the extent to which hydrogen is used to meet seasonal imbalance. Technical and financial indicators are used to assess the performance of the designed system. Simulation results indicate that the energy system can effectively balance the seasonal variation of renewable generation and load demand with the use of hydrogen. Additionally, guidelines for achieving self-sufficiency and system sustainability for providing enough power in the following years are provided to determine the appropriate component size. The sensitivity analysis indicates that the energy system can achieve self-sufficiency and system sustainability with a proper load sizing factor from a technical perspective. From an economic perspective, the levelized cost of energy is relatively high because of the high costs of hydrogen-related components at this moment. However, it has great economic potential for future self-sufficient energy systems with the maturity of hydrogen technologies.