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Techno-Economic Analysis of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems Used as an Electricity Storage Technology in a Wind Farm with Large Amounts of Intermittent Energy

With the growing demand for electricity, renewable sources of energy have garnered a lot of support from all quarters. The problem with depending on these renewable sources is that the output from them is independent of the demand. Storage of electricity gives us an opportunity to effectively manage and balance the supply and demand of electricity. Fuel cells are a fast developing and market capturing technology that presents efficient means of storing electricity in the form of hydrogen. The aim of this research is to study the impact of integrating hydrogen fuel cell storage system with a wind farm to improve the reliability of the grid for allowing higher penetration of renewable energy sources in the power system. The installation of energy storage systems strongly depends on the economic viability of the storage system. We identified four types of fuel cells that could be used in a hydrogen fuel cell storage system. We bring together a range of estimates for each of the fuel cell systems for the economic analysis that is targeted towards the total capital costs and the total annualized costs for the storage system for individual applications like rapid reserve and load shifting. We performed sensitivity analysis to determine the effect of varying the rate of interest and cost of fuel cell on the total annualized cost of the storage system. Finally, we compared the costs of hydrogen based storage system with other storage technologies like flywheel, pumped hydro, CAES and batteries for the individual application cases.
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