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Electrolytic hydrogen offers a promising alternative for long-term energy storage of renewable energy (RE). A stand-alone RE system based on energy storage as hydrogen has been developed and installed at the Hydrogen Research Institute, and successfully tested for autonomous operation with developed control system and power conditioning devices. The excess energy produced, with respect to the load requirement, has been sent to the electrolyzer for hydrogen production. When energy produced from the RE sources became insufficient, with respect to the load requirement, the stored hydrogen was fed to a fuel cell to produce electricity. The RE system components have substantially different voltage-current characteristics and they are integrated through power conditioning devices on a dc bus for autonomous operation by using a developed control system. The developed control system has been successfully tested for autonomous operation and energy management of the system. The experimental results clearly indicate that a stand-alone RE system based on hydrogen production is safe and reliable.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2004