Dispatchable Operation of Multiple Electrolysers for Demand Side Response and the Production of Hydrogen Fuel-Libyan Case Study
Concerns over both environmental issues and about the depletion of fossil fuels have acted as twin driving forces to the development of renewable energy and its integration into existing electricity grids. The variable nature of RE generators assessment affects the ability to balance supply and demand across electricity networks; however, the use of energy storage and demand-side response techniques is expected to help relieve this situation. One possibility in this regard might be the use of water electrolysis to produce hydrogen while producing industrial-scale DSR services. This would be facilitated by the use of tariff structures that incentive the operation of electrolysers as dispatchable loads. This research has been carried out to answer the following question: What is the feasibility of using electrolysers to provide industrial-scale of Demand-side Response for grid balancing while producing hydrogen at a competitive price? The hydrogen thus produced can then be used, and indeed sold, as a clean automotive fuel. To these ends, two common types of electrolyser, alkaline and PEM, are examined in considerable detail. In particular, two cost scenarios for system components are considered, namely those for 2015 and 2030. The coastal city of Darnah in Libya was chosen as the basis for this case study, where renewable energy can be produced via wind turbines and photovoltaics (PVs), and where there are currently six petrol stations serving the city that can be converted to hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs). In 2015 all scenarios for both PEM and alkaline electrolysers were considered and were found to be able to partly meet the project aims but with high cost of hydrogen due to the high cost of system capital costs, low price of social carbon cost and less government support. However, by 2030 the price of hydrogen price will make it a good option as energy storage and clean fuel for many reasons such as the expected drop in capital cost, improvement in the efficiency of the equipment, and the expectation of high price of social carbon cost. Penetration of hydrogen into the energy sector requires strong governmental support by either establishing or modifying policies and energy laws to increasingly support renewable energy usage. Government support could effectively bring forward the date at which hydrogen becomes techno-economically viable (i.e. sooner than 2030).
- PhD