A techno-economic analysis was conducted by an international research team to identify the optimal design and size of off-grid wind solar power plants intended for green hydrogen generation in refueling stations for fuel-cell electric vehicles. The power system is designed for a site in the northeastern Czech Republic, where solar radiation averages 2.89 kWh/m2 daily and daily wind speed averages 5.69 m/s.

The proposed stand-alone renewable power station consists of wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, an electrolyzer, an inverter, hydrogen tanks and batteries. Excess energy is to be directed to the electrocoagulation of discharged wastewater as a means of enhancing process sustainability.

The analysis considered the technical and economic feasibility of a system incorporating photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 298 kW, 22 wind turbines of 100 kW capacity each, 30 strings of 1 kWh lead acid battery, a 1,000 kW capacity electrolyzer, and hydrogen tanks with a capacity of 800 kg.

The photovoltaic unit can generate up to 300,425 kWh/year and the wind turbine 6,697,566 kWh/year at the proposed site. The off-grid system was determined to generate 6,997,990 kWh annually of electrical energy and yield 85,595 kg of green hydrogen. In addition, 262,678 kWh of electricity is produced annually for the electrocoagulation plant.

The study published in Results in Engineering concludes that the levelized cost of hydrogen is 2.89 € ($3.12) /kg, confirming the economic feasibility of such hydrogen production-based stand-alone renewable power facilities.

Researchers from VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Menoufia University (Egypt), Zagazig University (Egypt), Kuwait University (Kuwait) and Cairo University (Egypt) participated in this study.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com