Increasing the penetration of renewables by stabilising the grid through the use of energy storage - fuel cell technologies

  • Supervisors: Dr. Dallia Ali (Robert Gordon University), Dr. Daniel Aklil (Pure Energy Centre), Professor Stephen Finney (Strathclyde University)
  • Sponsoring Company: Pure Energy Centre Ltd.
  • PhD Student: Ross Gazey
  • This student has graduated and the project is complete.

One of the main solutions to increase the penetration of renewables is to provide the ability to store energy. Electrical power generated by renewables (such as wind, hydro, solar) would be stored at times when renewable power production is high. The stored energy would then be converted back to electricity when renewable production is low (or not available).

This work investigates the development of a novel model and technique to define the optimal size of an energy storage system needed to balance the grid, given the load demand and the renewable production. The work will focus on using hydrogen as the energy storage mechanism, where water (H2O) is split into H2 and O2 when excess renewable energy is available. H2 will be stored as fuel and O2 vented or be used in other processes. Fuel Cells (FC) will then use the stored H2 to generate electrical power and supply the grid with power when high load demand is available (and there is a low availability of renewable power).

This research will therefore develop an innovative technique and model that will automatically produce the size of the energy storage system. The novel and innovative model will require the mathematical modeling of the given renewable source, electrolyzer, compressor, storage, fuel cell, inverter and the grid.