A global research team has developed a novel energy deployment model to manage oversupply in remote solar microgrids.
This model utilises hydrogen fuel cells as a backup power generation source.
The team demonstrated the model via the Transient System simulation program (TRNSYS) software.
Their model comprised of solar PV system connected to a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell.
The fuel cells provide power to the system when the load exceeds the energy generated by the PV plant.
Under their model, a 21.4 kW solar array had an annual power yield of 127.3 kW h/m2 under standard conditions.
This combination is capable of producing high-density hydrogen at seven bars according to the scientists.
The researchers conducted the simulations on a system in Beijing over a period of 12 months.
The results indicated that the fuel cell operated at full capacity between March and September, when the PV system had higher energy production.
According to the researchers, the proposed system configuration and sizing will ensure that the annual amount of hydrogen consumed would be equivalent to the annual amount produced.
Details of the research can be found “Efficient photovoltaics-integrated hydrogen fuel cell-based hybrid system: Energy management and optimal configuration,” which was recently published in the Journal of Sustainable Energy.