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Identifying the Ideal Renewable Energy Coupling Arrangement

In an article recently published in the open-access journal International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, researchers discussed integrating a green-to-green system using a fuel cell, a wind turbine, and solar energy.

​​​​​​​Study: An investigation on coupling fuel cell, wind turbine and PV as green to green system. Image Credit: Mr. Kosal/Shutterstock.com

Background

The last ten years have seen a rise in interest in environmental issues, with great efforts to lessen the ecological harm of fossil-fuel dependent energy production. Numerous energy systems have been developed, with an emphasis on the two components of energy production and storage.

Most studies examining sustainable sources focus on renewable energy. Recovery of energy has also been considered as a supplementary sustainable source. On the other hand, green energy storage has attracted much interest because it is a necessary component of every energy system. Fuel cell (FC) technology is the current environmental priority.

Smart systems that couple hydrogen, wind, and solar energy have been researched. Investigations on advanced coupling, including various solar system types, wind turbines, solar thermal systems, and fuel cells, have also been conducted.

The authors investigated several coupling arrangements, reaching the conclusion that many optimal systems can be obtained depending on the factors taken into account. For example, when factors like economic, environmental, and technological conditions are considered, the best coupling combination is photovoltaic-wind turbine-fuel cell and battery. If the economic aspect is imposed, however, a photovoltaic (PV)-battery is the best configuration. Experimental research has been done on hybrid systems that include a fuel cell, a solar panel, a battery, and a wind turbine. Optimization algorithms have also been used to study hybrid systems that combine wind, solar, and fuel cells.

About the Study

In this study, the authors discussed the development of a green-to-green system that combined wind, photovoltaic, and fuel cell technology. A method of analysis that evaluated output power in relation to system characteristics enabled the discovery of the best coupling arrangement. Furthermore, a case study on Lebanon was taken into consideration, which focused on the three distinct locations of  Klaiaat Akkar, Dahr El-Baidar, and Rayak Bekaa. The results demonstrated the adaptability and robustness of the recommended technique.

The team demonstrated that the proposed wind-fuel cell (WFC) system was recommended for Dahr El-Baidar, but the hybrid photovoltaic wind-fuel cell (PVWFC) system was best for Klaiaat Akkar, and the photovoltaic fuel cell (PVFC) system was preferable for Rayak Bekaa. Additionally, an optimization that was based on economics was carried out. It was discovered that Rayak Bekaa was the best location for a WFC hybrid system from an economic aspect and for a land area greater than 3000 m2.

The researchers reviewed the suggested hybrid PVWFC system and modeling of the suggested coupling approach was conducted. The best configuration was found based on the main parameters that control the outcome. The analysis process, modeling and sizing of wind farms, and the current modeling and sizing of PV arrays were illustrated. The modeling and sizing of electrolyzers and fuel cells were demonstrated.

Observations

The fuel cell's minimum guaranteed output voltage was 0.6 V/cell, and its maximum limit current density, or jmax, was 0.7 A/cm2. While Rayak Bekaa's WFC was better for areas ranging from 3000 m2 to 10000 m2, Dahr El-WFC Baidar's was superior up to an area of 2000 m2.

The results indicated that a wind turbine (WT) should be employed in the Dahr El-Baidar location since it generated greater power year-round. In the case of the Rayak Bekaa region, where PV was favored, the opposite was true. Results from the Klaiaat Akkar region pointed to a linkage between the two systems as a solution to the issue of seasonal weather variability. However, to assess the map of the best distribution of the various hybrid systems, economic research was conducted. The non-linear results demonstrated a solid locational and land area dependence.

The best system for Klaiaat Akkar was PVFC, while the best system for Dahr El-Baidar was WFC. Dahr El-Baidar was preferable for WFC up to an area of 2000 m2 if the goal was to discover the best position for a preset system. Rayak Bekaa performed better if the space was between 3000 and 10,000 m2.

Conclusions

In conclusion, this study proposed a green-to-green renewable energy system based on the hydrogen storage used to couple fuel cells with wind turbines and solar panels. In this case study, the Lebanese regions of Dahr El-Baidar, Klaiaat Akkar, and Rayak Bekaa were examined. The wind farm size was determined by the minimum distance between wind turbines, the available land area, the diameter of the WT rotor, and the average wind speed.

The direct normal insulation (DNI) data, the module dimensions, the land area, and the ideal tilt angle at the investigated locations were used to size the PV array. The maximum DC power generated by the wind farm/PV array in the examined sites during high wind/radiation times was used to size the fuel cell and the electrolyzer.

The output power of each system and the amount of hydrogen produced were determined using the proposed models. The three locations under study were compared using annual wind speed and insulation data.

Source

Haddad, A., Jaber, H., Khaled, N., et al. (2022). An investigation on coupling fuel cell, wind turbine and PV as green to green system. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy ​​​​​​​https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319922027409

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Surbhi Jain

Written by

Surbhi Jain

Surbhi Jain is a freelance Technical writer based in Delhi, India. She holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Delhi and has participated in several scientific, cultural, and sports events. Her academic background is in Material Science research with a specialization in the development of optical devices and sensors. She has extensive experience in content writing, editing, experimental data analysis, and project management and has published 7 research papers in Scopus-indexed journals and filed 2 Indian patents based on her research work. She is passionate about reading, writing, research, and technology, and enjoys cooking, acting, gardening, and sports.

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