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Wind power is one of the cleanest and safest of all the renewable commercial methods of generating electricity. However, wind energy is difficult to use due to its stochastic variability. Energy storage can overcome the main drawback, allowing energy production to match energy demand. In this paper, new hydrogen storage systems are investigated as a way to solve this problem. A new methodology, based on the differences between wind power generation and load variability, was developed in this study to optimize the technology, energy capacity and power transfer of the hydrogen energy storage method for specified applications. The dynamics of the complete hydrogen cycle energy storage and recovery mechanism was investigated, specifically for potential applications such as power smoothing and peak lopping. A time dependant model of the efficiency of various hydrogen storage technologies, including high pressure compression, low temperature liquefaction, metal hydrides and complex hydrides, has been developed. Based on this study, a practical hydrogen energy storage system for a 5MW micro-grid application was designed. The micro-grid's electrical load requirements and the available wind energy in the local area are used as an example to demonstrate the new methodology. Using these results, the paper demonstrates that a practical system to provide hydrogen energy storage within this micro-grid using high temperature water electrolysis and high pressure compression tank storage is the best way forward.
Date of Conference: 6-7 April 2009