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An Optimal Design Methodology for Hydrogen Energy Storage to Support Wind Power at the University of Bath

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Disciplines
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Mathematics

Abstract

Fossil fuel will eventually become exhausted. Also, fossil fuels produce large amounts of carbon dioxide, which cannot only bring environment pollution, but can also cause global warming. Therefore, clean and renewable energy sources should be investigated. In this project, renewable wind power was considered. Wind energy is free, clean and available in large quantities, although it is difficult to use due to its stochastic variability. Energy storage can reduce this variability allowing energy production to match energy demand. In this study, different kinds of energy storage approaches were introduced, compared, and simulated by using half hourly wind data from the Met Office, UK, and half hourly load data from the University of Bath, UK. Hydrogen has higher mass energy density than all other energy storage methods. It is seen as a versatile energy carrier of the future, complementary to electricity and with the potential to replace fossil fuels due to its zero carbon emissions and abundance in nature. On the other hand, because hydrogen is the lightest element under normal conditions; the same amount of hydrogen must occupy a huge volume compared to other elements. The mature technology for converting hydrogen into electricity has high cost and low efficiency. These are big issues that limit the usage of hydrogen energy storage methods. Using wind and load data, a new algorithm was developed and used for sizing the wind turbine, and energy storage requirements. The traditional way to supply energy is distributing electricity, but in this PhD research, there are some discussions about a new method, hydrogen transport-hydrogen pipeline. From the results of the comparison and algorithm, a practical hydrogen energy storage system for the University of Bath network was proposed and designed. In the proposed design the energy from a wind turbine was directed to the load and the remaining excess power was used to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. The hydrogen was stored in a high pressure compressed tank, and finally a hydrogen fuelled combined cycle gas turbine was used to convert the hydrogen to electricity. In this thesis, the dynamics of the complete hydrogen cycle energy storage and recovery mechanism are discussed, identifying potential applications such as power smoothing, peak lopping and extending power system controller ranges. The results of calculations of the payback time and revenue verify the feasibility of the designed hydrogen energy storage system. The main objective of the PhD was to design a practical hydrogen energy storage system for micro-grid applications. During this research, hydrogen energy storage was investigated to show that it does solve the problems arising from renewable energy.

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