A comparative analysis of the economic feasibility of reversible hydrogen systems based on time-resolved operation optimisation

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The expansion of fluctuating renewable energy production, such as wind and PV, increases the mismatch to consumption. Power-to-Hydrogen-to-Power (PtHtP) systems are believed to be a key for balancing under and overproductions. PtHtP systems can provide temporal and spatial flexibilities and among them reversible solid oxide cells (rSOC) are a promising technology. They combine production of hydrogen and power in the same electrochemical stack. This generates a financial and environmental benefit since less resources are necessary for enabling both Power-to-Hydrogen and Hydrogen-to-Power. This work investigates the application of rSOC systems in comparison to reversible PEM systems consisting of electrolysis and fuel cell unit. In the present studies time-resolved optimization is employed for simulation of the optimal operation of the PtHtP technologies in different market price conditions for electricity, hydrogen and natural gas and with coupling to industry and district heat. Both systems have a zone of market prices, that allows for a positive economic performance over lifetime. The electricity‑hydrogen price difference in this zone is in the range from −83 €/MWh to 133 €/MWh depending on the scenario. Furthermore, the electricity price fluctuations are found to have the major impact on the profitability. By studying the influence of gas grid fees, one finds that local compressed hydrogen storages can be used only for very short storage timescales up to a few hours. Finally, the derivation of application conditions, that are suitable for the two different spatial kinds of reversible hydrogen systems – spatially concentrated and delocalized and the two technologies – rSOC and PEM, is made.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123639
Number of pages21
JournalApplied energy
Issue number1 October
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • rSOC
  • PEM electrolysis
  • power-to-gas-to-power
  • sector coupling
  • Energy Efficiency
  • techno-economic assessment
  • Sector coupling
  • PEM
  • Energy efficiency
  • Power-to-gas-to-power
  • Techno-economic

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